It looks like 2016 could be a big year for African startup funds. Within the last seven days alone two new new funds, set to pump more than US$60-million into the African startup space, were announced.
The funds, announced at the first Africa Business Angel Forum (ABAF) held at the Lansdowne Club in London, are aimed specifically at scaling up African ventures. The first of the funds, worth US$50-million, comes courtesy of Neils Ellegard, Founder of Reewire and Managing Partner of United+, based in the US and Africa.
Next up was Ellen van den Broek, Director of Aurorae who announced a US$10-million fund partly backed by AXA Ventures which is part of AXA, the French insurance giant which just bought eight percent of Africa Internet Group for US$83-million.
At the same event, a number of investors spoke about the effect their existing investments were having on the continent. Homestrings CFO Tangwena Nelson, for instance, indicated that his company has so far mobilised US$20-million from the diaspora and channeled that into African investments on the platform. A number of startups also pitched for investment at the event.
The event, which was organised by the NewGenAngels, saw the participation of 70 investors, professionals and scaleup ventures from 20 different countries. Sean Ndiho Obedih, Founder of NewGenAngels and Convener of ABAF said, “we are overwhelmed by the outcome of the event and extremely encouraged by the decision of participants to have the second ABAF on 2 September 2016 in London before we all head out to Nairobi, Kenya to participate in the fourth Angel Fair Africa, which is the official follow up event on the continent.”
“We are mobilising global capital to invest in African scale up ventures so our partnership with Angel Fair Africa is essential to bridge the funding gap between Africa and the rest of the world,” he added.