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Ventures Platform attracts NSIA, others in first close of new $40mn fund

16 Dec 2021, 04:18 pm
Financial Nigeria
Ventures Platform attracts NSIA, others in first close of new $40mn fund

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To date, Ventures Platform’s portfolio has raised over US$500 million in follow-on rounds.

Kola Aina, Founder and General Partner at Ventures Platform

The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), manager of Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund, has led other investors in the first close of a US$40 million fund by Ventures Platform, an early-stage venture capital fund championing the next generation of African entrepreneurs.

The new fund also features participation from its existing individual and institutional investors, some of whom are leading names across Africa’s corporate and tech ecosystems, including UAC Nigeria, VFD Group, Gbenga Oyebode, Shola Akinlade (Paystack), and global investors like Michael Seibel (Y Combinator) and Adam Draper.

A second close of the fund, which invests in what Ventures Platform calls “market-creating innovations,” is due to take place in early 2022 and will feature investment from select global institutional investors and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), according to a statement the company sent to Financial Nigeria, on Thursday.

Ventures Platform said it is building on its stellar reputation as one of the most active early-stage investors in African tech and that it will significantly deepen its longstanding presence in Nigeria and West Africa while also investing in select opportunities in East, North & Francophone Africa that have the potential to expand into West Africa’s key markets.
Since launching in 2016, Ventures Platform has acted as a key partner and conduit for international funds and stakeholders seeking a reliable and experienced partner to do business with, in Africa. With on the ground presence on the continent and its experience with corporate partnerships, talent, growth, regulation and operations, its new fund introduces the benefit of strong local LP participation and strengthens Ventures Platform’s ability to institutionalise its track record of collaborating with LPs and investors from North America, Europe and Asia in investing in the African technology space.
As part of a move to further deepen its expertise, Ventures Platform said it has onboarded leading figures across African tech as Venture Partners, including Seni Sulyman (ex-VP at Andela, ex-COO at Bellhop, Founder at Black Ops.)
“Over the last six years, we’ve backed close to 70 of Africa’s most compelling tech companies, building a robust portfolio which has featured one of the largest exits our sector witnessed to date through Paystack last year,” said Kola Aina, Founder and General Partner at Ventures Platform. “As the incredible momentum in African tech continues to build, it's attracting unprecedented attention globally amongst traditional and institutional investors, and we’re delighted to welcome aboard some world-class, strategic stakeholders to our fund.”

With a ticket size of up to US$1 million or above, Ventures Platform said it is now positioned to fund follow-on rounds of successful startups building market-creating innovations across pre-seed, seed and Series A stages in sectors including Fintech, healthtech, enterprise SAAS, digital infrastructure and more. Amassing a total of 28 investments to date in 2021 alone, the platform’s portfolio of 69 startups is one of the most elite in African tech with high-profile names including Seamless HR, Piggy Vest, Mono and Paystack – which Stripe acquired in October 2020 for over $200 million.

“Participation in this fund hits at the very core of the Authority’s objectives: stimulating growth by enabling new and innovative intramural technology to empower the continent,” said Uche Orji, MD & CEO, NSIA. “To harness and unleash Nigeria and Africa’s potential, we are of the opinion that investment in ventures in the innovation and technology space is essential. In this regard, the Authority is proud to play a role in facilitating what it expects will lead to the rise of Africa.”

To date, Ventures Platform’s portfolio has raised over US$500 million in follow-on rounds, and as the investor moves to consolidate its leading market position, this marks its first official institutional fund with previous capital resulting from syndicate and proprietary capital funds.

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