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Launch Africa

Launch Africa Closes First Fund at $36.3m

Launch Africa, a pan-African venture capital firm, has closed a $36.3 million fund to fund more B2B and B2B2C startups across Africa.

It invests up to $300k per transaction, primarily through S.A.F.E. notes or convertible notes and seeks companies ready for their Series A round within 18 months of investment.

Launch Africa, with over 238 retail and institutional investors from 40 countries per its statement, has invested over $24 million in its portfolio companies. Most of these investments are one-time checks, as the early-stage VC seldom takes on subsequent rounds.

Per investment, it has funded over 108 startups across 21 African countries. They include Amitruck, Bitmama, Chekkit, Credrails, Fixit45, Kuda, Kwara, MarketForce, Omnibiz, PayHippo, Releaf and several others.

Fintech contributes heavily to Launch Africa’s portfolio; over 38% of its companies are from that segment. The rest include e-commerce and marketplaces (16%), health tech (13%), logistics and mobility (12%), data analytics/AI (11%) and edtech (7%).

Launch Africa which was founded in July 2020 by Zachariah George and Janade du Plessis, helps LPs with due diligence and waives fees when they invest alongside the fund’s lead checks. These LPs have deployed over $14 million in Launch Africa portfolio companies.

Zachariah George, managing partner at Launch Africa says: “I can’t think of a single fund that covers as many markets as we do. We’re doing deals in the DRC, Madagascar, Sudan, Botswana, Benin, Togo. People use the word pan-African loosely, but when we say pan-African, we truly mean what we do.”

He continues: “In fund one, we have limited capacity for follow-ons like many other funds do, we wouldn’t be able to cover the whole continent and multiple regions and products,” said George. “Any of our portfolio companies that need significant capital at the next round of funding, we provide an opportunity for our LPs to back them.”