The Fund includes US$7.9 million from the AfDB and a US$3.9 million contribution from the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.
Stefan Nalletamby, the bank’s director for financial sector development, said the Janngo Fund can drive transformation from a more traditional business ecosystem into a dynamic, youth-driven, and technology-focused entrepreneurial community in Africa.
“Africa is experiencing rapid mobile penetration with Android and other platforms. This provides huge opportunities to develop innovative and high-growth-driven start-ups and SMEs,” Nalletamby said.
“But there is a severe scarcity of risk capital for the new and upcoming first generation of venture capital funds targeting early-stage businesses.”
Managed by Janngo Capital, the fund supports innovation with a focus on social impact. Investments span across sectors including agribusiness, energy, education, and healthcare, primarily in Francophone West Africa.
The fund is expected to enhance the private sector by deploying technology-enabled business models for small and medium enterprises that address the needs of underserved populations, create significant employment opportunities for youth and women, and improve the quality of life for Africans.
The pooled investment advances the Boost Africa Programme, collaboration among the contributing partners and the European Investment Bank to back investment funds that target early-stage innovative enterprises across sub-Saharan Africa.
The bank’s support for the Janngo Start-Up Fund aligns with its jobs for youth strategy, as well as its support for private sector-led growth and entrepreneurship in African economies.
In 2019, Janngo Capital secured US$13.8 million from the Europe Investment Bank to fund its operations.
In May 2018, Janngo raised a US$1.11 million Seed round to “to shape digital ecosystems and create pan-African tech champions” and later went ahead to launch its Paris and Abidjan offices.
The Janngo team is led by Fatoumata Ba who also doubles as the Chief Executive Officer. She is mostly known for launching Jumia in Ivory Coast which she ran from 2013 to 2015 before moving to Nigeria to serve as General Manager of Jumia in Lagos.
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.