Ventures Platform Closes its Pan-African Fund at $46M

Ventures Platform, a pan-African venture capital firm has announced the final close of a $46 million oversubscribed fund. The oversubscribed fund had the participation of global investors, various commercial banks, HNIs, Standard Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), British International Investment, 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).

Kola Aina, Founder and General Partner at Ventures Platform said “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,”.

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

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.

Since its launch in 2016, the pan-African VC firm has over 60 active investments, including Nomba, 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 centered 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 optimize 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.

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.

Before joining Ventures Platform, Dotun Olowoporoku had played key roles r in Flutterwave, Turaco, and TeamApt, among other startups. He was, 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,” Kola Aina said.

A new addition was also added to the venture platform management 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.