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Savannah Fund II targets $25m

Anna Lyudvig
March 16, 2021, 10:31 p.m.
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Savannah Fund, Africa’s technology venture capital firm, has launched Savannah Fund II, a $25m fund that will invest in early-stage startups across sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and disruptive companies in high-growth sectors. 

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Savannah Fund, Africa’s technology venture capital firm, has launched Savannah Fund II, a $25m fund that will invest in early-stage startups across sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and disruptive companies in high-growth sectors. 

“Savannah Fund II will continue its long-term mission to partner with ambitious founders, building startups that will scale across Africa”, said Mbwana Alliy, Founder and Managing Partner.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has contributed $3m to the first close of the Fund II with participation from the Women Entrepreneurs  Finance Initiative (WeFi), which invested $500,000.

“Early-stage funding is vital to enable more of Africa’s emerging and growing tech founders to grow their business and fuel the transformation of Africa’s Internet economy. By partnering with Savannah Fund, we can help more entrepreneurs to access funding,” said Kevin Njiraini, IFC Regional Director for Southern Africa and Nigeria. 

Mbwana added: “Entrepreneurs in Residence, especially female founders, are a key part of our investment strategy. We’re proud to partner with WeFi to further expand and encourage female founders on the continent.” 

Other notable investors include Tim Draper of Draper Associates and Visa Forsten, co-founder of Supercell (now part of Tencent) and Senegal-based Venture studios UMA.

The Fund II will focus on Seed to Series A investments in core markets Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, with an eye on expansion to emerging hubs across Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda in East Africa as well as Ivory Coast and Ghana in West Africa. 

Key investment sectors include Fintech, Education, Logistics/E-Commerce, SaaS, Healthcare, Agtech, and innovation at the bottom of the pyramid. 

Savannah Fund will track and report ESG metrics and has set the goal to raise the profile of early-stage startups it invests in around environment, social, and governance as key differentiating factors. 

As part of this second fund formation, seven startups were included in the Fund II’s portfolio: Aerobotics, an agtech company from South Africa, IoT and Analytics startup Safi, Moringa School – both got started in Kenya; Flex.club, subscription mobility startup operating in South Africa and Mexico, as well as Orbit Health in Ethiopia and Cloud kitchen company Ando Foods in Kenya.  

“We’re incredibly bullish on startups that have the potential to scale beyond the continent that can expand into Silicon Valley and emerging markets like South East Asia, Central, and Eastern Europe, and Latin America,” said Paul Bragiel, General Partner.

Savannah Fund is one of the earliest sub-Saharan Africa-focused tech venture capital firms, starting its investment activities in 2012 when it launched its first accelerator program in Kenya. 

In 2016, it transitioned completely to Seed/Series A investments. 

To date, it has invested in 31 companies across seven countries on the continent. 

Savannah Fund’s portfolio raised a record $118m in 2020 across Series A, B, and C with over 1,000 tech employees and a few companies operating in US, Europe and LATAM in addition to Africa. 

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