One of the area of focus for Future Africa entering the year 2021 was to “find and fund amazing innovators, earlier” as shared in a letter by the CEO of the Africa-focused venture capital firm, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji
Just 4 months after that declaration, they have gone on to invest $3 million in 13 startups in the first five months of 2021. By doing so, they have doubled their 2020 performance in dollar terms.
Future Africa’s initial investments were focused on the Nigerian market, funding 54Gene, Bamboo and Eden, but the firm is taking a more pan-African outlook. Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa are now represented on the firm’s portfolio map.
Of the 13 companies backed this year, only 4 have disclosed their fundraises. They are Nigeria’s Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) startup,Termii; Kenya’s Insurtech platform, Lami. Stitch, a South African fintech startup and Ongair, a customer service platform for businesses from Kenya complete the list.
It is also interesting to note that Future Africa is also committed to women-led startups and have already smashed their $1 million goal they set out this year which certainly includes Lami, Co-founded and Led by Jihan Abass. For Aboyeji, a conscious decision to invest in more women will break the perception that there are not enough women to be funded in Africa.
“Basically just like you don’t imagine you have a fair shot with Andressen Horowitz or Sequoia as an African founder, women don’t feel they have a fair shot with 90% of VC funds without a publicized commitment being made to them,” he says.
Since inception, Future Africa has now made 47 investments as a fund via its institutional venture capital fund “Future Africa Fund” with an impressive portfolio that has Andela, Flutterwave, Chaka, Risevest and so much more. Are you a mission-driven founder that is keen on turning Africa’s most significant challenges into global business opportunities. Click here to apply to the fund
They also run a subscription-based syndicate composed of Africa-focused angel investors “Future Africa Collective”. With a $1,000 annual subscription fee, you get access to invest a minimum of $5,000 in up to 20 African startups each year. However not all applications are accepted, in Aboyeji’s words “Future Africa Collective co-investors have to bring more than money to the table” .Some of them are experts in emerging technologies like biotech and DNA, while others are founders, investors, product managers and business leaders.
Olabinjo Adeniran, a Future Africa co-founder, said members of the Future Africa Collective will have access to 20 deals in 2021. These 20 will be part of 100 startup investments that the Future Africa Fund plans to make this year.
“We are going to announce some new structures soon that will enable us move even faster and invest in more startups,” Adeniran says. “It should be ready within the next 3 months.”