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    HomeEcosystem NewsVenture Capital & Funding SourcesVerod-Kepple Africa Ventures’ Latest $60M Fund is Focusing on Growth Stage Startups

    Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures’ Latest $60M Fund is Focusing on Growth Stage Startups

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    Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV) has concluded its first fund, totaling an impressive $60 million, aimed at investing in founders who are addressing pressing challenges across Africa.

    The closure of VKAV’s inaugural fund marks a significant milestone in the venture capital landscape, particularly in Africa. Notable institutional investors participating in the fund include prominent entities such as SBI Holdings, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Japan International Corporation Agency, and Japan ICT Fund. Additionally, new investors, including SCM Capital from Nigeria and various institutional investors from Japan such as Taiyo Holdings and C2C Global Education Japan, have joined the final close.

    VKAV, the brainchild of Verod Capital Management and Kepple Africa Ventures, aims to fill a crucial funding gap in Africa’s startup ecosystem. The fund is primarily targeted at companies transitioning to Series A and B stages, where local investment options are often limited.

    With a strategic focus on growth-stage enterprises, VKAV is honing in on three key thematic areas. Firstly, it seeks out companies involved in building digital infrastructure across diverse sectors. Secondly, it targets “inefficiency solvers” — ventures addressing frictions within or between businesses and consumers. Lastly, it supports “market creators” who leverage the evolving dynamics of Africa’s economy and demographics to generate economic opportunities.

    Tingting Peng, Chief Capital, Strategy & Impact Officer at Moove, expresses alignment with VKAV’s mission, highlighting the importance of impactful investments in Africa’s tech ecosystem. Moove, having recently closed its Series B funding round, acknowledges VKAV’s continuous support and anticipates further collaboration to drive growth.

    VKAV’s portfolio already boasts twelve notable companies, including Moove Africa, KOKO Networks, Ceviant, Chari, Shuttlers, Nawy, Julaya, NowPay, Chefaa, Cloudline, Zone, and mTek-Services.

    Greg Murray, co-founder and CEO of KOKO Networks, lauds VKAV for its instrumental role in navigating the Japanese market entry process and fostering government relations in Africa. Murray underscores VKAV’s unique blend of African operational insights and extensive Japanese network.

    The VKAV team distinguishes itself as hands-on investors, offering comprehensive support ranging from fundraising to partnerships, governance, ESG implementation, talent management, and legal assistance. Leveraging their partnership with Verod, they equip portfolio companies with operational best practices, preparing them for future fundraising and successful exits. This support becomes increasingly critical amid the complex macroeconomic landscape in Africa and the global expansion aspirations of these companies.

    Mostafa El-Beltagy, co-founder and CEO of Nawy, attests to VKAV’s exceptional partnership beyond mere investment. He praises VKAV’s proactive approach in enhancing business success, affirming the significance of having such a dedicated partner on their entrepreneurial journey.

    As VKAV’s $60 million fund takes shape, it not only represents a significant boost for Africa’s burgeoning startup ecosystem but also underscores the potential for impactful investment to drive economic prosperity and reduce inequality 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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