Future Africa’s recent report reveals it has achieved most of its set goals for the year, including the $1 million investment in female-led startups.
The Africa-focused venture firm revealed its investment achievements for the year two days ago. According to the report, the firm has invested $3 million in 13 startups, double of its total investment in 2020.
Earlier in the year, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Future Africa’s CEO, announced their plans for 2021. In the announcement dubbed “2021 Annual CEO Letter: The Obstacle is The Way,” Iyinoluwa listed growing their co-investor collective, invest in startups outside Nigeria, committing at least $1 million to female innovators, etc. as their top focus for 2021.
Women and funding: Future Africa’s Solution
The poor representation of women is a common phenomenon across emerging and developed markets. In Africa and beyond, there is a deficit of female businesses, investors, and mentors.
In 2017, venture capital funding in Africa was over $500 million, but female-owned startups received only 5.3% ($30 million) of the total amount. The sad trail continued in 2018 and 2019.
Our 2020 funding report revealed that African startups raised substantial funding despite the pandemic. But, as always, women's funding was in deficit. Of the 56 companies surveyed, only 3 had female owners.
The IFC blamed this disparity on three factors. They are; the low number of female-led businesses that receive funding, the low rate of smooth transition between funding stages, and the limited number of female decision-makers in venture firms.
Some steps are aggregating solutions to the problems listed by the IFC. Female-focused communities are springing up. Venture firms like FirstCheck Africa are also consciously looking out for female-led startups by helping them navigate funding stages.
Future Africa’s commitment to invest $1 million in female-led startups is also a welcome development towards bridging the gaps listed by IFC.
In its announcement, it revealed that it surpassed the $1million commitment to female-led startups. Future Africa also stated that it is currently appraising more female-led startups in its pipeline to increase the number.
This means that Future Africa is on its way to fund more women and we are on the lookout for that.
Future Africa’s milestone so far
Here, we are highlighting the 2021 achievements of Future Africa.
Future Africa invested $3 million in 13 startups totaling their investment to 47. This figure is double of what they invested in 2020.
It expanded its portfolio to a pan-African level, investing in startups across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa.
It surpassed $1 million commitment to women-led startups, with ongoing plans to increase it.
Some of the beneficiaries to the $3 million include;
Lami: A Kenyan-based insurtech startup that allows insurance providers to leverage artificial intelligence to offer insurance services to customers.
Ongair: a Kenyan-based customer service platform that allows businesses to interact with their customers across messaging platforms from a single dashboard.
Stitch: a South African-based fintech startup that provides full API access to financial accounts
Termii: a Nigerian-based startup that leverages an API-based infrastructure to solve customer retention challenges for businesses.
Future Africa however, did not reveal the remaining startups because they have not announced their fundraises.