Africa has become one of the focuses for investment as investors are recognizing the huge opportunity buried deep within the continent. And they’d do anything to tap into the continent’s treasures. Many African targeted funds have sprung up and many more will as the opportunities in Africa are endless. In 2021, African startups raised a total of $4 billion in funding from investors and the potential to do more is very evident.
Less than two months after opening its Norrsken House in Kigali, Rwanda, Norrsken is making headlines again after teaming with a handful of venture capital and equity firms as well as thirty unicorn founders for a fund targeted at African startups. The fund is called the Norrsken22 African Tech Growth Fund and has already achieved its first close of $110 million. It follows a fund of €125 million the foundation launched for European startups in March.
The investment was led by Hans Otterling, a partner at UK-based VC firm Northzone. Making up the firm’s investment are the general partners Natalie Kolbe, the ex-global head of private equity at Actis, a private equity fund investing in emerging markets; her colleague, Ngetha Waithaka; and Lexi Novitske, the ex-managing partner at Acuity Ventures Platform.
A final close is hoped to be achieved before or by the end of this year, the foundation disclosed. The fund will be focused on growth stage.
The intention of the fund is to be a local-based growth-stage enabler that provides the boost that startups need to move to their next level; grow revenue, hire exquisite talent and catalyze expansion. Norrsken22 plans to invest 40% of its capital, about $80 million in Series A and B companies and the rest in follow-on rounds from Series C up until exit. It will make 20 investments at an average ticket size of $10 million and may go as high as $16 million, including follow-on rounds in some portfolio companies”.
According to general partner Natalie Kolbe, “I think that reserve capital pool is really important because we do want to have the ability to support companies through their entire lifecycle. Innovation is uncertain, and it doesn’t happen overnight, so we want to be sure to be able to support the top winners in the company so they can be the champions in the tech ecosystem”.
$65 million from its first close of $110 came from unicorn founders around the world including Flutterwave co-founder Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola; Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström; iZettle co-founder, Jacob de Geer; Delivery Hero co-founder Niklas Östberg, Carl Manneh, co-founder Mojang; Sebastian Knutsson, co-founder King; and Willard Ahdritz, founder of Kobalt Music.
These unicorn founders are also expected to help other upcoming founders with knowledge on how to scale their companies and raise them to billion-dollar companies.