Ventures Platform closes $40m Pan-African Fund to increase investment in early-stage startups


Africa-focused venture capitalist company, Ventures Platform has announced the first close of its new US$40m Pan-African Fund.

The investment, targeted at early-stage startups, was led by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). It also witnessed participation from existing Nigerian investors as well as some new ones. They include UAC Nigeria, VFD Group, Gbenga Oyebode, and Paystack’s Shola Akinlade. Also in participation are global investors like; Michael Seibel of Y Combinator and Adam Draper.

The VC expects the second close of its Pan-African fund to take place in early 2022. It is also expected to feature investment from select global Institutional Investors and DFI’s. 

With this funding, Ventures Platform says it will significantly deepen its long-standing presence in Nigeria and West Africa. It also intends to invest in select opportunities in East, North and Francophone Africa – that have the potential to expand into West Africa’s key markets.

Speaking about the new fund, MD & CEO of NSIA, Mr Uche Orji, said participation in this fund hits at the very core of the Authority’s objectives which includes stimulating growth by enabling new and innovative intramural technology to empower the continent.

“To harness and unleash Nigeria and Africa’s potential, we are of the opinion that investment in ventures in the innovation and technology space is essential. In this regard, the Authority is proud to play a role in facilitating what it expects will lead to the rise of Africa,” he said.

Over $500m raised, portfolio of 69 startups

Ventures Platform is an early-stage venture capital fund championing the next generation of African entrepreneurs. Founded in 2016 by General Partner, Kola Aina, the VC has not only played a role in funding early-stage startups across Africa, it has also acted as a key partner and conduit for international funds and stakeholders seeking a reliable and experienced partner to do business in Africa.

The fund currently has a portfolio of 69 startups, one of the largest and most elite in the African tech VC space. This portfolio includes high-profile names like Seamless HR, Piggy Vest, Mono and Paystack – which Stripe acquired in October 2020 for more than $200m. The VC has already amassed a total of 28 investments in 2021 alone.

The company boasts on the ground presence on the continent and copious experience with corporate partnerships, talent, growth, regulation and operations. The company says this new funding will strengthen its ability to institutionalise its track record of collaborating with LPs and investors from North America, Europe and Asia, who need a reliable partner to work alongside when investing in the African technology space.

The latest capital injection also firmly positions it to double down on existing investments in its category-leading portfolio via subsequent rounds.

To date, Ventures Platform’s portfolio has raised over $500mn in follow-on rounds, and as the investor moves to consolidate its leading market position, this marks its first official institutional fund with previous capital resulting from syndicate and proprietary capital funds.

With a ticket size up to $1m+ Ventures Platform is now positioned to fund follow-on rounds of successful startups building market-creating innovations across pre-seed, seed and Series A stages in sectors including Fintech, healthtech, enterprise SAAS, digital infrastructure and more.

And the General Partner couldn’t be any prouder of the team’s work so far.

Over the last six years, we’ve backed close to 70 of Africa’s most compelling tech companies, building a robust portfolio which has featured one of the largest exits our sector witnessed to date through Paystack last year. As the incredible momentum in African tech continues to build, it’s attracting unprecedented attention globally amongst traditional and institutional investors, and we’re delighted to welcome aboard some world-class, strategic stakeholders to our fund.” 

Kola Aina, General PArtner at Ventures Platform

He said the fund is set to fully maximise its deep expertise in navigating the nuances of the African market. He said the company is developing a global network of LPs in more established markets like Europe, the USA and Asia, many of whom partner with the company due to its track record of backing winners, and because they appreciate its on-the-ground experience and access to opportunities.

As part of a move to further deepen its expertise, Ventures Platform has also onboarded leading figures across African tech as Venture Partners, including; Seni Sulyman (ex-VP at Andela, ex-COO at Bellhop, Founder at Black Ops.)

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