Whether all you have is an idea or you’re actively into the early stages of your company’s development, you’ve probably anticipated the need for startup or venture capital. Money makes things happen. Seeking funding? Here are 10 venture capital and private equity firms in Africa you should meet to get funding for your tech company.
Established in 2011 with operational, asset management and M&A expertise dating back to 1998 and technology roots founded in the 1970’s, CEI is a private equity and venture capital company investing in technology and businesses driven by technology, with a particular focus on emerging markets. Acknowledging and embracing the pervasive and disruptive nature of the rapidly evolving technological advancements of the 21st century, this Johannesburg-based company currently focuses on mobile, social, data, and cloud-based enabling technologies, within retail, financial services, healthcare, and telecommunication sectors.
Established in 2010, MATHs is the first technology focused Venture Capital Company in Zimbabwe. The objective of this company is to invest and take early advantage of the opportunities in Zimbabwe’s pre-emerging technology sector. MATHs brings together local entrepreneurs and international technical partners and suppliers to establish and develop new companies to address the problems that developing economies face. Its main investments are in the Telecom industry and an example of a company under its portfolio is ZimTowers Pvt Ltd.
eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) was launched in January 2010 by Vincent Kouwenhoven and Brian Hirman. eVA Fund is dedicated to mobilize capital and experience in the Netherlands/Europe to invest in small and medium sized African internet related companies. eVA Fund focusses on development in terms of capital and business development support, i.e. knowledge, experience, access to proven business concepts/applications, and network. The capital investments in African e-ventures are in the range of $100,000 to $1,000,000. The company has invested in companies such as Nomanini, a South Africa social enterprise and Mobofree, a Kenyan-based software & web development company
Novastar is a Kenyan based venture catalyst firm assisting the next generation of exceptional entrepreneurs who are designing and executing innovative business models to profitably serve East Africa’s aspiring mass market. These ‘New Stars’ are the catalysts for innovation, accountability, efficiency and the accumulation of wealth for the common good. The firm currently operates as a private investor targeting opportunities on a deal-by-deal basis. One high profile company under their portfolio is Soko , a company that designs ethically sourced fast fashion jewelry from a growing network of hundreds of low-income Kenyan artisans.
Cairo-based Sawari Ventures is an international venture capital firm that invests in market leading companies, with a focus on entrepreneurial ideas and management, based in the Middle East and North African region. According to the company’s website, it typically invests $250 – $1million initially, but expects to invest between $2million and $5million over the lifetime of a company invested in. Included in its portfolio are a number of companies, including Circle Tie (multi-platform location based mobile social network for Egypt and United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as Vimov, producer of mobile platform solutions – including iSimulate.
Kinyeti Venture Capital is a private equity investment company that makes equity and loan investments in profitable enterprises in South Sudan. The investment company was established in 2012 as a joint venture between Norfund and SwedFund. The company takes its name from Mt. Kinyeti, one of South Sudan's highest points, which speaks to the aspirations that Kinyeti has for its investments and their role in building a thriving private sector in South Sudan. Kinyeti invests in teams that have the vision and are motivated to build profitable and sustainable businesses in the sectors such as Healthcare, Technology, and Agriculture.
CBO Capital is a Nigeria-based Financial Advisory and Asset management Firm (with activities in Private Equity & Venture Capital). It was established with the aims of servicing and supporting business growth across Africa. The firm uses its local network of contacts and local knowledge of West African business to create value for its portfolio of companies across Sub-Saharan Africa. CBOIM targets investments in small and medium sized companies across a range of industries including the agri-business, manufacturing, technology, energy, real estate, and social infrastructure sectors.
TriVest is a South Africa-based private equity firm that invests in small to medium-sized companies in the healthcare (including biotechnology), renewable energies and security sectors. TriVest's primary focus is to invest in companies that require capital for internal expansion, retaining management and providing strategic, organizational and network resources. Equally the firm will make recapitalization investments as well as other corporate acquisitions as part of their strategy. TriVest pursues investment opportunities that are based in South Africa, but with the potential to achieve scale through expansion within Africa.
Established in June 2005, MCB Capital Partners is part of the MCB Group, a private equity fund manager in Mauritius. It invests in companies with new economic opportunities and development projects in emerging markets in the Indian Ocean region and Sub-Saharan Africa. The company targets consumer market sectors with particular interest in agro-processing, light industrials and manufacturing, fast moving consumer goods, construction materials, retail and distribution, logistics, pharmaceuticals and healthcare and education.
10. Savannah Fund
Savannah Fund is a Kenyan seed capital fund specializing in US$25,000-US$500,000 investments in early stage high growth technology (web and mobile) startups in sub-Saharan Africa. The Fund expects to achieve this objective by combining capital with mentor networks both in the region and from Silicon Valley via an accelerator program and a follow-on independent seed fund. The fund is managed by an experienced and technology savvy team that has founded companies or are actively involved in angel investing. Savannah Fund believes in the potential for Africa to become a global technology innovator by creating sustainable for profit companies that create jobs and make an impact. An example of a company under its portfolio is Zatiti, a Kenyan based e-commerce platform for small merchants.
(Image Credit: utern.org)