Ventures Platform, an early-stage, Africa-focused VC firm, has closed its early-stage and intercontinental fund at $46 million. The fund surpassed its initial target of $40 million and saw participation from several notable investors, including Standard Bank, the International Finance Corporation, British International Investment, A to Z Impact, Proparco with FISEA, AfricaGrow (a fund of funds backed by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and managed by Allianz Global Investors), and HNIs.
Launched in 2016 by Kola Aina, the firm has invested in 81 technology companies across Africa and plans to use this fund to double down on backing “category-leading” companies across the continent and invest in portfolio companies up to Series A. To date, Ventures Platform’s portfolio companies have gone on to raise more than $1 billion in follow-on funding.
In December 2021, the fund launched a $40 million fund to deepen its presence in West Africa and invest in companies from other African regions, and brought on Seni Suleyman as a venture partner. This year, Dotun Olowoporoku, the previous chief commercial officer at TeamApt, was made the managing partner, and Desigan Chinniah was brought on as a venture partner.
In recent times, there has been a wave of layoffs—caused by a lack of runway for startups—and corporate governance issues across the African tech ecosystem. Acknowledging the current state across the ecosystem in a statement, Aina, the founder of Ventures Platform, said, “We recognize the tougher macroeconomic climate at present and whilst we remain cautious in terms of market dynamics and remain grounded in our long-standing belief in proper due diligence and corporate governance, we are also acutely aware that with our investment thesis, which is centred on market-creating innovations that thrive when value-chains and markets are restructured, there continue to be incredible opportunities across the market.”
Driven by the recent boom in funding across the continent, there has been increased activity from African-focused VC firms and the establishment of new firms. Venture capital firms like Madica, Satgana, and Purple Elephant have recently raised funds to support specific sectors and verticals across the continents, while several other established Africa-focused firms like Oui Capital have launched new funds.