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Ventures Platform closes $46 million pan-African fund

Ventures Platform today announced the final close of its Pan-African Fund at $46 million.

Ventures Platform closes $46 million pan-African fund
Kola Aina, Founder and General Partner at Ventures Platform (R)

One year after pan-African VC firm, Ventures Platform closed the first round of its "$40 million pan-African found", the firm today announced the final close of the fund at $46 million—above its initial target.

The oversubscribed fund had the participation of global investors with an array of commercial banks, corporates, DFIs, global institutional investors and HNIs, including Standard Bank, International Finance Corporation [IFC], British International Investment, A to Z Impact, Proparco with FISEA, AfricaGrow a Fund of Funds backed by BMZ (German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, DEG and Allianz, managed by Allianz Global Investors).

"This is a crowning close to an eventful year in which we made substantial advancements both in the tactical and the proprietary interventions that catalyze our portfolio companies," Kola Aina, Founder and General Partner at Ventures Platform, said.

The VC firm will use the fund to back a cohort of category-leading companies across the continent and will also make follow-on investments for portfolio companies, up to Series A, according to a statement seen by Benjamindada.com.

Ventures Platform disclosed that it is "actively seeking opportunities" in Kenya, Egypt, and Francophone West Africa. "We look forward to helping our portfolio companies maximise their full potential whilst also consolidating on our position as a key and dependable business partner for investors in Africa," Aina added.

Following the first close of the fund in December 2021, Ventures Platform made new and follow-on investments in various companies across different sectors, including Remedial Health, Moni, Notto, and Chargel.

Since its launch in 2016, the pan-African VC firm has over 60 active investments, including Nomba (formerly Kudi), Reliance HMO, Brass, MarketForce, Mono and Piggyvest to add to the successful exit of Paystack—acquired by Stripe in 2020.

According to Kola Aina, "We recognize the tougher macroeconomic climate at present and whilst we remain cautious in terms of market dynamics and remain grounded in our long-standing belief in proper due diligence and corporate governance, we are also acutely aware that with our investment thesis, which is centred on market-creating innovations that thrive when value-chains and markets are restructured, there continue to be incredible opportunities across the market."

Whilst focussing on funding market-creating innovations that optimise for non-consumption, Ventures Platform has arguably accrued one of the largest technology start-up portfolios on the continent. Investing from the pre-seed stage up to Series A, the fund invests in startups across multiple sectors, ranging from Fintech, Insurtech, Life Science and Health Tech, Edtech and Digital talent accelerators, Enterprise SaaS, Digital Infrastructure Plays, Agritech and Food Security.

"The investment strategy of AfricaGrow is funding Private Equity and Venture Capital funds domiciled and active in Africa, which is both challenging and very rewarding. In Ventures Platform we have found an excellent partner generating real impact on the ground by building successful companies utilising their deep experience, network and local expertise. We are looking forward to fruitful cooperation," Martin Ewald, Lead Portfolio Manager Allianz Global Investors, Impact Investments, said.

Ventures Platform makes "strategic team additions"

In addition to the close of the fund, Ventures Platform has made a series of strategic team additions at the partnership and senior management levels. The VC firm has added an accomplished entrepreneur, investor, and former Principal at pan-African VC firm, Novastar Ventures, Dotun Olowoporoku, as Managing Partner. Dotun's addition to the partnership brings expertise and new opportunities across areas such as investor relations, corporate governance, international expansion, M&A, and growth marketing to the Venture Platform fold.

Prior to joining Ventures Platform, Dotun Olowoporoku had played key roles as a consultant or board observer in Flutterwave, Turaco, TeamApt, among others. He was, up to recently, the Chief Commercial Officer at TeamApt. "Dotun’s hands-on pan-African experience, from working with both start-ups and institutional investors, brings an invaluable perspective that will help with our continued growth," Aina said.

The pan-has appointed another notable new member to further enhance its expert network as it brings onboard renowned technologist and investor, Desigan Chinniah, as a Venture Partner. Having spent his career as a venture capitalist, serving in leadership and advisory roles across a blue-ribbon range of companies, Chinniah will harness his expertise in product innovation, sales intelligence and developer relations to support Ventures Platform portfolio companies.

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Recall that in November 2022, Ventures Platform appointed Damilola Teidi as its new Head of Platform and Networks.

"The goal [of my appointment] is to build scalable support initiatives and harness the value of our collective networks to provide catalytic value to our founders," Ms Teidi said.

Prior to joining Ventures Platform, she was the Director of Startup Support for Co-Creation Hub from January 2018 to September 2022 where she led the design and implementation of pan-African programmes