Savannah Fund, a technology seed fund focused on investing in early-stage startups across sub-Saharan Africa has announced the launch of a $25-million fund.
Efforts to secure the funds were led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) with participation from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (WeFi), Tim Draper of Draper Associates, Visa Forsten, and the co-founders of Supercell and Senegal-based Venture studios UMA.
Kevin Njiraini, IFC Regional Director for Southern Africa and Nigeria stresses the importance of investing in African early-stage startups and their contribution to the economy. He says that funding tech startups is vital to fuel the transformation of Africa’s internet economy.
The fund is also focused on investing in early-stage sub-Saharan startups founded by women along with disruptive companies in high-growth sectors. Mbwana Alliy, founder and managing partner at Savannah Fund, says that addressing the issues surrounding the economic inclusion of women across the continent is one of the most important aspects to creating sustainable development.
Savannah Fund will provide funding to Series A investments (first significant round of venture capital financing) in core markets located in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. In addition, the fund plans to look into emerging hubs in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, East Africa, the Ivory Coast, and Ghana.
Specific sectors that the fund will be investing in include fintech, education, logistics, eCommerce, Saas, healthcare, and agritech.