Janngo pledges US$66.5m to back African startups leveraging technology to achieve the SDGs

AFRICA— Janngo, an African Social Start-up Studio that leverages technology and capital to build digital ecosystems, has unveiled the Janngo Capital Startup Fund, its €60 million (US$66.5 million) Venture Capital fund On the eve of its participation at the 50th World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

According to Janngo, the funds will be used to back technology startups with a double bottom line approach.

Janngo said that the fund is dedicated to financing tech-enabled startup accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa, with a €15 million (US$16.63 million) anchor investment by the European Investment Bank

The fund is a first of its kind Venture Capital & Impact vehicle investing from seed through growth stage across Africa and it is targeting at least 50% of startups founded, co-founded or benefiting women.

The fund gives particular attention to African women because it is harder for them to access capital despite them being the most entrepreneurial in the world with a 26% Total Entrepreneurial Rate in Sub-Saharan Africa where they are twice as likely to start a business than elsewhere.

According to the African Development Bank, there is US$42 billion funding gap for women entrepreneurs in Africa.

Additionally, the larger the ticket size, the harder it is for women in emerging markets to get access to capital with only 10% of women entrepreneurs able to raise money from Series A vs 49% at seed stage.

“At Janngo, we believe that talent is equally distributed between men and women but opportunities aren’t; especially in terms of access to capital.

That is why we are proud to be a female-led VC fund investing 50% of our proceeds in startups founded, co-founded by or benefiting women” said Fatoumata BA, Executive Chair of Janngo and Managing Partner of Janngo Capital.

In a statement the venture capital fund said, “this initiative is part of Janngo’s broader commitment on financing the SDGs in Africa, as a member of the Goalkeepers Community and the Global Future Council on the New Economic Agenda of the World Economic Forum.”

Janngo notes that, entrepreneurship, is a powerful engine to provide decent economic opportunities and create jobs in Africa

In Africa, only 3 million jobs are created every year when at least 20 to 30 million jobs will be needed to absorb its fast growing labor force in the coming years.

In this context, unlocking entrepreneurship is a critical lever to massively increase the supply of decent jobs and bridge the unemployment gap, both in the formal or informal sector.

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