African or Africa-focused Tech Investors
Africa-targeted private equity and VC is on the rise, last year (2012) the total worth of PE deals closed in sub-Saharan Africa grew 10% from 2011 to $1.16 billion with funds raised for the region being $1.4 billion up from $1.3billion the previous year (Source – Reuters; also have a look at Ernst & Young’s Private Equity in Africa round up).
In the past, funding for tech startups in Africa and the apparent or perceived lack of it (especially at the startup level) have been a focal point for discussions on how to grow tech startups across Africa and particularly those that are perceived to be leaders in tech on the continent.
Here are just a few of the investors taking a particular interest in the African tech space:
East Africa Capital Partners (EACP): a technology, media and telecommunications sector focused Venture Capital Fund Manager investing in the greater Eastern Africa region. Part of their portfolio under their ATMT Fund includes Wananchi Group Limited
Adlevo Capital: A Mauritius-based fund manager, as at June 10 2o10, they had US$52 million in commitments to their fund (source). Their portfolio includes: InterSwitch, a leading provider of electronic transaction switching and payment processing services in West Africa; Paga, a mobile and online financial services provider focused on bringing about financial inclusion to the under-served or unserved African population; Rancard Solutions, provides tools to create, host, deliver and manage content and services for mobile subscribers.
88mph: makes investments in early stage mobile-web companies targeting the African market; focusing purely on ideas with potential to scale across Africa. 88mph has a presence in Kenya and South Africa where they work in partnership with Google’s entrepreneur program. Some of their investments include: Ghafla, a celebrity entertainment site, mdundo sells African music using scratch cards, and futaa.com a local football news site.
Savannah Fund: a 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. Initially focused on East Africa, the fund aims to bridge the early stage/angel and venture capital investment gap that currently exists in Africa. Their portfolio includes investments in BiNu, a company that provides content to feature phones; SafariDesk, helps users find and plan great vacations; Uganda-based mobile gaming company, Kola Studios amongst others.
Government initiated/run funds: There have been some attempts by governments to create funds to support the technology sector. Most recently, there has been news that Nigeria is raising a $15 Million fund for tech. The Kenyan government also had a grant initiative for companies in the technology sector in Kenya.
Do you know of any other Africa-focused tech funds/investors? Or are you an angel investor seeking investment in the African tech space ? Leave a comment below