Ventures Platform, a Pan-African early-stage venture capital firm, closed its fund at $46 million, with plans to invest even more in “category-leading” companies across Africa.
After going public in December, the six-year-old, 11-person company reached an undisclosed first close to raise $40 million for this fund. According to founder and general partner Kola Aina, the majority of its limited partners in the first close were primarily based in Africa, which was a deliberate choice.
For us, it was strategic, getting local capital for our first close. But the second close, as you will see, will be from global fund of funds and DFIs where we’ve got commitments. Still, ultimately, as much as foreign capital is critical, I think it’s in the interest of foreign capital to be in bed with local capital from a derisking standpoint.Kola Aina (2022)
Ventures Platform not only exceeded its initial target, but it also delivered on its next set of limited partners. Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank by assets, is one of the fund’s newest LPs, as are four development finance institutions (DFIs): the International Finance Corporation (IFC), British International Investment (BII), Proparco with FISEA, and AfricaGrow, an Allianz Global Investors fund of funds. A to Z Impact, a social impact firm, is among the other limited partners, as are corporations, commercial banks, global institutional investors, and high-net-worth individuals (HNIs).
“No other fund in the region of our kind has four DFIs as LPs,” Aina briefed TechCrunch of the addition. “It’s great to have this diverse mix, which is important on several fronts as we’re able to sort of lean on their experience and offer our portfolio companies long-term capital.”
Ventures Platform has invested in more than 60 businesses since its founding in 2016, spanning a variety of sectors including fintech, insurtech, health tech, edtech, agritech, enterprise SaaS, and digital infrastructure bets. A few of the well-known brands in its portfolio include Marketforce, Mono, PiggyVest, and the two most valuable African startups, Nomba and Reliance HMO, according to YC.
Pre-seed and seed stage investments made up the majority of these investments. Since the fund’s initial close, Ventures Platform has improved and now provides Series A checks to its portfolio firms, some of which have direct access to follow-on funding (Series B and higher) from the company’s limited partners. Aina brought up the initial phase.