Ventures Platform closes US$40m for its fund to expand its portfolio

NIGERIA – The Nigeria-based Ventures Platform, one of Africa’s most active early-stage tech investors, has announced the first close of a US$40 million pan-African fund that will expand its portfolio and double down on winners.

The fund will invest in market-creating innovations, with the first close led by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and featuring participation from existing investors and some new leading names across Africa’s corporate and tech ecosystems.

They include UAC Nigeria, VFD Group, Gbenga Oyebode, Shola Akinlade of Paystack, while global investors like Y Combinator’s Michael Seibel and Adam Draper are also involved.

The fund’s latest capital injection also firmly positions it to double down on existing investments in its category-leading portfolio via subsequent rounds. A second close of the fund is due to take place in early 2022 and will feature investment from select global Institutional Investors and DFIs. 

“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,” said Kola Aina, founder and general partner at Ventures Platform.

“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.”

Since its launch in 2016, Ventures Platform has acted as a partner and conduit for international funds and stakeholders seeking a reliable and experienced partner to do business in Africa.

The firm’s portfolio of 69 startups includes the likes of Seamless HR, Piggy Vest, Mono and Paystack, while the company has amassed a total of 28 investments to date in 2021 alone.

“As operators ourselves, we know what it takes to build a successful business on the continent, and we’ve spent years partnering with visionary founders effectively tackling some of Africa’s hardest problems – now is the time to go even further,” said Kola.

“We’re fully maximising our deep expertise navigating the nuances of the African market, and as we move ahead.

“We’re developing a global network of LPs in more established markets like Europe, the United States (US) and Asia, many of whom partner with us due to our track record of backing winners, and they appreciate our on-the-ground experience and access to opportunities, which is vital for generating returns.”

With a ticket size up to US$1 million, 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, e-health, enterprise SAAS, digital infrastructure and more.

As part of a move to further deepen its expertise, the firm has also onboarded leading figures across African tech as Venture Partners, including Seni Sulyman, ex-VP at Andela, ex-COO at Bellhop, and founder at Black Ops.

4DX Ventures raises US$60 million

4DX Ventures has raised US$60 million for its second African-focused fund. 4DX Ventures’ vehicle, which was launched in the first quarter of 2021, has slightly exceeded its target size of US$50 million.

It will concentrate on Anglophone and Francophone Africa, with a focus on financial services, health, and logistics. More specifically, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya, as well as the Ivory Coast, will be targeted by the Africa-focused venture capital business.

Despite its broad scope, the vehicle will concentrate on the fintech, e-commerce, healthcare, and logistics sectors.

The fund, which is almost completed, was launched in the first quarter of 2021 with a target of raising US$50 million. His portfolio includes companies such as Autochek, Breadfast, MaxAB, Taager, Trella, and Yoco, which operate in a variety of industries.

4DX Ventures has invested in over 40 companies across Africa, the Middle East, and the United States since the establishment of its first fund. According to the venture investor, its portfolio companies have raised more than US$1.2 billion in funding to sustain their operations.

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