Seedstars Africa Ventures announced an investment of $30 million in Seedstars Africa Ventures I venture capital fund by EIB Global to support risk capital for entrepreneurs across Africa. The EIB Global investment is backed by the European Union through the ACP Trust Fund and the Boost Africa programme.
“Encouraging and promoting innovation and digitalisation is crucial to developing strong and sustainable economies,” said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. “African entrepreneurs hold the key to the continent’s future, creating jobs, reducing inequality and improving quality of life. The EIB, as part of Team Europe, is committed to supporting African businesses, and we are proud of the success of Boost Africa and the ACP Trust Fund.”
Seedstars Africa Ventures I was created by Maxime Bouan, Tamim El Zein and Bruce Nsereko Lule, in partnership with Seedstars, a global organization that invests and supports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, and LBO France, a multi-country multi-specialist investment platform that seeded the initiative and provided a material anchoring commitment, +30 years’ investment experience in small and venture companies and environmental and social governance (ESG) expertise.
The Nairobi and Paris-based team explained that “the anchoring ticket provided by the European Investment Bank is a testament to our investment thesis and the work we do across Africa. It signals the relevance of our positioning as well as the effectiveness of our support to portfolio companies. This recognition will further help us onboard both African and foreign investors in the Fund to reach our US$80 to US$100 million target size.”
Robert Daussun, Chairman of LBO France and Stéphanie Casciola, CEO of LBO France stated, “Identifying areas with high growth potential is at the heart of LBO France’s strategy, and we have been reinforcing our position in Africa by targeting highly dynamic sectors and supporting disruptive entrepreneurs. Our commitment to Seedstars Africa Ventures is part of our strategy to offer a range of diversified alternative assets to our investors and allow them to participate in Africa’s growth story, with a strong ESG ambition. Similarly, we took in 2023 a majority position in CGF Bourse, a brokerage and asset management firm headquartered in Dakar and we are also the majority shareholder in Joliba Capital, a private equity fund based in Abidjan and focused on francophone Africa.”
“The digital sector is a key driver of growth and innovation. Small and medium-sized enterprises, together with start-ups, are fueling the digital economy. Kenyan and African digital economies have tremendous potential and helping entrepreneurs access finance can be a game changer to foster quality growth and jobs, a common priority for both the EU and our African partners. With Global Gateway, the EU is investing in Africa’s digital transformation and helping provide the right conditions for digital economies to thrive – as demonstrated with the recent digital economy package in Kenya,” said European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas.
Seedstars Africa Ventures invests in Seed+ and Series A rounds, with an ability to follow on significantly, effectively bridging the pools of capital available. The Fund leads investment rounds to facilitate syndication and provides strong operational support that is critically lacking in the regional venture capital space. On top of its internal, on-the-ground teams, the Fund uniquely leverages support resources provided by the acceleration platform of Seedstars.