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Early-stage investor Antler closed its oversubscribed East Africa investment fund at USD 13.5 Mn to continue to support early-stage tech start-ups in the region. The bumper investment round drew participation form leading investors such as Baillie Gifford, institutional investors International Finance Corporation (IFC), and participation from family offices like Canica.
Antler East Africa plans to make 35 new investments over the coming three years.
Antler will support innovation in two ways by accepting founders looking to build their businesses from scratch, as well as early-stage start-ups looking to raise capital.
The goal is to facilitate the shortest institutional funding cycles for a global fund in Africa, focused on bringing coaching and true value to all our founders from day one.
IFC’s $1.5 million investment, along with $500 000 from the Women’s Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), will support the company’s new incubator program that launches in March and includes a focus on supporting women entrepreneurs.
“We know what it takes to get a start-up off the ground and want to build a flexible support system that enables strong collaboration and interaction between fellow entrepreneurs, advisors, angel networks, and investors in Kenya and beyond. Our goal is to connect and fast-track the initial stages of the entrepreneurial journey,” said Marie Nielsen, Partner at Antler East Africa.
Kenya’s Internet economy has the potential to grow from $7.42 billion in 2020 to $12.84 billion by 2025 – expanding to $51 billion by 2050.
To support this growth in Kenya and other countries in East Africa, IFC is working with partners such as Antler to provide local tech startups with capital and support systems that enable them to launch and grow their businesses while creating jobs.
“Africa’s digital economy is growing, and it is critical that our investments and partnerships empower more entrepreneurs to tap into this growth,” explains Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Regional Director for Eastern Africa.
“By supporting Antler, we can help entrepreneurs in East Africa, including women, to bring their ideas to life or take their start-ups to the next level, contributing to the region’s digital transformation.”
Read more: SA tech startup AURA expands to East Africa
Featured image supplied by Antler