LoftyInc Capital launches third fund at US$10m support for African startups

AFRICA – LoftyInc Capital, a pan-African Venture Capitalist firm,  has announced the launching of its  LoftyInc Afropreneurs Fund Three, at US$10 million for tech startups in Africa.
This is according to a statement by Founding Partner, LoftyInc Capital Management, Idris Bello.
The firm has reached the first close of US$5.5 million with some of the limited partners in the vehicle including those from its second fund, FBNQuest Funds, syndicates from The Green Investment Club, HNIs from multinationals like Google, Facebook and ExxonMobil; and Andela CEO Jeremy Johnson, among others.

According to Bello, LoftyInc has written checks to more than 20 startups since it began raising money for the fund cutting across various industries like e-commerce, fintech, healthcare, logistics and media in different regions within and outside Africa.

In Francophone Africa, the company has invested in Afrikrea and Star News Mobile then in Omnibiz, RXAll, Sudo Africa, Tech Advance, Aladdin, Flex Finance, Star Kitchens Group and EPump across West Africa.

For LoftyInc’s portfolio in North Africa, there’s Odiggo, Illa, Tagaddod and Instadiet.

Akiba Digital, Beamm and Zazu Africa make up LoftyInc’s portfolio in South Africa, while Cashback and Dash are the startups funded in East Africa.

LoftyInc also has diasporic interests in OjaExpress and FitMatch.

LoftyInc runs three funds simultaneously and the second fund, which is its first formal VC fund, is largely focused on Nigeria while on the other hand, this third fund follows the thesis of LoftyInc’s first fund: investing in startups across different markets and sectors in Africa and the diaspora.

The fund says it wants to take big bets on markets outside the Big Four — Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Egypt.

Operating three funds

In 2012, the firm launched the first fund — LoftyInc Afropreneurs Fund 1 — as its pre-seed-stage investment vehicle.

The fund acted more like a syndicate or an angel group, of which investors include senior executives in key industries across Africa.

Over 180 business angels are investing via the first fund and have collectively put more than US$4 million into 40-plus startups across the continent. 

Some big names from Nigeria and Egypt origins include unicorn Flutterwave (pre-seed), soonicorn Andela, Trella, Chefaa and Koniku.

Five years later, as the founding partner, Bello teamed up with long-time advisor Marsha Wulff, an early investor in health tech company Teladoc and they launched the second fund, LoftyInc Afropreneurs Fund 2, alongside Michael Oluwagbemi, who also acts as a general partner at the firm. 

From 2017 to 2020, LoftyInc wrote checks worth more than US$1.2 million in nine rounds to six Nigerian startups — Printivo, RelianceHMO, Epump, YouVerify, Shyft Power Solutions and Flutterwave (at pre-Series A).

Flutterwave serves as LoftyInc’s first exit, one which Bello said returned 3x to its LPs and it was this successful exit that laid the foundation for the third fund.

In terms of what LoftyInc looks for in companies it invests in, there’s a bias toward those who go for a large market with little or no competition, a product that users love and execution.

As with most VC firms out there, LoftyInc claims to be sector agnostic. 

However, there’s some affinity toward startups playing in the IoT, fintech and health tech space, Bello said. 

LoftyInc’s first fund, mostly catered to by angel investors, is most bullish at the pre-seed stage.

In 2021 alone, the group has done over 50 pre-seed deals while for the others, the focus is on seed to Series A deals, with an average ticket size of US$250,000. 

 

 

 

 

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