Savannah Fund, a leading technology seed fund in Africa has bagged US$3 million from IFC to increase lending to startups across Sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and disruptive companies in high-growth sectors.
IFC led the fund’s first close investing US$3 million in the US$25 million fundraising. The Women’s Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, or We-Fi, invested US$500,000. This is Savannah Fund’s second seed fund.
The fund will provide early-stage funding to startups in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, with an eye on expansion to Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Uganda in East Africa, as well as Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana in West Africa.
The fund will invest in companies that support development at the bottom of the pyramid in sectors including Fintech, education, logistics and e-commerce, healthcare, and Agritech.
Led by Mbwana Alliy and Paul Bragiel, 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 to focus on early-stage startup investments. To date, it has invested in 31 companies across seven countries on the continent.
“Savannah Fund II will continue its long-term mission to partner with ambitious founders building startups that will scale across Africa. We’re especially bullish on startups that have the potential to scale beyond the continent and that can expand into Silicon Valley and emerging markets like South East Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America,” said Mbwana Alliy, Savannah Fund’s Managing Partner.
The firm has already invested in seven startups with the second fund including South African Agritech startup Aerobotics and car subscription FlexClub, Ethiopian Healthtech Orbit Health and Kenyan-based Safigen, Moringa School and Ando Foods.
“Early-stage funding is vital to enable more of Africa’s emerging and growing tech founders to grow their businesses 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’s Regional Director for Southern Africa and Nigeria.