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    HomeEcosystem NewsVenture Capital & Funding SourcesHow P1 Ventures Plans to Invest Its New $35M Fund in African Startups

    How P1 Ventures Plans to Invest Its New $35M Fund in African Startups

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    US-based and pan-African venture capital firm, P1 Ventures, is forging ahead with its mission to support African startups as it completes the second close of its second fund at an impressive $35 million, with aspirations to reach $50 million by the final close. The company has secured the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, as its first public institutional investor, marking a significant milestone for the firm and the African startup ecosystem.

    Established in 2020 by Mikael Hajjar and Hisham Halbouny, P1 Ventures stands out as an early-stage VC fund dedicated to addressing the capital gap encountered by African startups. While many international investors have scaled back their investments in African startups, P1 Ventures is doubling down on its commitment to the continent, expanding its team in Dakar and Nairobi and intensifying its focus on sectors such as AI-powered Software as a Service (SaaS).

    This recent funding round follows the completion of the first close at $25 million in September 2023. The additional capital will fuel P1 Ventures’ efforts to identify and nurture the most promising startups across Africa. The company’s portfolio already boasts some of the region’s most innovative ventures, including super app Yassir in Algeria, savings app MoneyFellows in Egypt, employee healthcare platform Reliance Health in Nigeria, consumer challenger neobank in Ivory Coast, and Morocco’s ecommerce and fintech app Chari.

    The partnership with the IFC not only validates P1 Ventures’ strategy but also opens up new avenues for its portfolio companies to access growth capital, expand operations, and attract further investment. Olivier Buyoya, IFC’s Regional Director for West Africa, emphasized the importance of supporting disruptive digital business models to enhance competitiveness and efficiency in traditional markets, ultimately fostering inclusive economic growth across the continent.

    P1 Ventures’ confidence in Africa’s potential stems from its belief that emerging markets possess several advantages over their developed counterparts. The company sees opportunities to leverage emerging technologies such as AI to drive innovation across various industries, from healthcare to retail and agriculture. By supporting founders utilizing these technologies, P1 Ventures aims to accelerate the pace of development and unlock Africa’s vast untapped potential.

    In line with its commitment to innovation, P1 Ventures recently hired a data scientist to integrate AI into its investment processes, marking a significant milestone within the African venture capital landscape. This move underscores the company’s determination to enhance its investment processing capacity, identify promising opportunities more efficiently, and lead the way in AI-powered deal flow on the continent.

    Hisham Halbouny, Co-founder and Managing Partner of P1 Ventures, expressed optimism about the future of venture capital in Africa, highlighting the region’s unprecedented rate of innovation and the resilience of its entrepreneurs. He emphasized the importance of local VCs in seizing investment opportunities and backing exceptional founders at favorable valuations, particularly as global markets begin to normalize.

    Mikael Hajjar, Co-founder and Managing Partner of P1 Ventures, emphasized the significance of leveraging data science to drive investment decisions, signaling a new era of innovation and efficiency within the firm. He highlighted the potential of these tools to identify repeat founders and create value for portfolio companies, further cementing P1 Ventures’ position as a leading player in the African venture capital landscape.

    As P1 Ventures continues to deploy capital into Africa’s burgeoning startup ecosystem, its latest funding round serves as a testament to the region’s untapped potential and the firm’s unwavering commitment to supporting the next generation of African entrepreneurs. With the backing of the IFC and a renewed focus on leveraging AI, P1 Ventures is poised to drive meaningful change and unlock new opportunities across the continent.

    Charles Rapulu Udoh is a Lagos-based lawyer, who has several years of experience working in Africa’s burgeoning tech startup industry. He has closed multi-million dollar deals bordering on venture capital, private equity, intellectual property (trademark, patent or design, etc.), mergers and acquisitions, in countries such as in the Delaware, New York, UK, Singapore, British Virgin Islands, South Africa, Nigeria etc. He’s also a corporate governance and cross-border data privacy and tax expert. As an award-winning writer and researcher, he is passionate about telling the African startup story, and is one of the continent’s pioneers in this regard.

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