In March, Nigerian startup Termii raised $1.4 million in a seed round. Future Africa co-led the round with Kepple Africa Ventures, a Japanese Africa-focused venture capital firm. 

It is not clear how much Future Africa invested in Termii but the firm can invest up to $500,000 in deals, thanks to the Future Africa Collective, its community of angel investors.

It turns out Future Africa has done a dozen other deals since. Other investments this year have been in Kenyan startups Lami and Ongair, as well as in Stitch, a South African company building APIs for open banking. 

The firm says it has invested $3 million in 13 startups in the first five months of 2021. By doing so, they have doubled their 2020 performance in dollar terms. 

Future Africa invested $1.2 million in 14 startups in 2020. They returned $3.7 million to some of the firm’s first limited partners after profitably exiting some legacy positions through secondaries.

Future Africa has now made 47 investments as a fund. Launched in 2020, the firm operates an institutional venture capital fund (“Future Africa Fund”) and a subscription-based syndicate composed of Africa-focused angel investors (“Future Africa Collective”).

Members of the Future Africa Collective pay $1,000 annually for the opportunity to invest a minimum of $5,000 per deal. Future Africa Fund alone invests a maximum of $50,000 per deal.

Olabinjo Adeniran, a Future Africa co-founder, said members of the Future Africa Collective will have access to 20 deals in 2021. These 20 will be part of 100 startup investments that the Future Africa Fund plans to make this year.

Seen in that light, it looks like Future Africa is behind schedule with 13 investments after four months. Adeniran confirms that not all 13 investments have been offered to members of the Collective, so the firm is also behind on the 20-startup target.

But “we think we are going to exceed the target number on both ends,” Adeniran says to TechCabal.

Future Africa chose not to disclose the 9 other investments it has made because the startups have not announced the funding. But they did drop a few hints: 

  • Two digital banks: one for financial organisations transacting between Africa and the UK; the other for African migrants.
  • “A pharmaceutical startup that uses Artificial Intelligence to solve the drug counterfeiting problem in Africa” 
  • A startup that “helps businesses create flexible virtual and physical cards for multiple purposes” which might be Sudo (Adeniran declined to confirm or deny).

Future Africa’s initial investments were centered around Nigerian startups like 54Gene, Bamboo and Eden, but the firm is taking a more pan-African outlook. Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa are now represented on the firm’s portfolio map.

Beyond the appeal of building a pan-African suite of investments, Future Africa hopes to fund more women-led startups. At the beginning of the year, the firm set out to invest $1 million in women-led startups

It appears Future Africa has met that milestone, though no details are provided about the women-led startups. We know Lami, one of the new investments, is co-founded and led by a woman – Jihan Abass.

Future Africa plans to fund more women-led startups, pushing past the initial $1 million goal.

“We are going to announce some new structures soon that will enable us move even faster and invest in more startups,” Adeniran says. “It should be ready within the next 3 months.”

Alexander Onukwue Author

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