Ventures Platform, US-Nigeria Council announce startup fund

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Early-stage VC firm Ventures Platform and the US-Nigeria Council have partnered to launch the Corporate Leaders Fund, which will give Nigeria’s top corporations the chance to invest in startups and scale-ups.

The announcement took place on the sidelines of the recent Investment and Technology summit in Silicon Valley to promote Nigeria’s growing tech ecosystem, which saw Nigeria’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo lead a high-level delegation of senior policymakers and tech ecosystem actors.

The Corporate Leaders Fund launched by Ventures Platform – which late last year expanded to Lagos and increased its cheque size – and the US-Nigeria Council – a business organisation dedicated to strengthening commercial ties between the United States and Nigeria – will target post-MVP stage companies, investing up to US$250,000 initially with the potential to follow on in later rounds.

It will give Nigeria’s top corporations the opportunity to invest in the next wave of startups and scaleups that will define the country’s future. Beyond capital, the fund will provide investee companies with access to market and distribution, growth support and partnerships, talent development, technology, and expertise from the fund backers and partners.

“We are really excited about the opportunity to get Nigerian corporations and corporate leaders involved in supporting the inevitable future, and we’re pleased to partner with such an important organisation as the US-Nigeria Council to make this journey possible,” Kola Aina, founding partner of Ventures Platform, said.

With the participation of select corporate partners, leaders and executives of major Nigerian organisations, and members of the US-Nigeria Council, the fund is aimed at backing proven entrepreneurs building innovative startups to solve enterprise challenges. Investee companies will be strategically aligned with objectives of the fund’s corporate backers, who are primarily members of the US-Nigeria Council.

“We see the partnership with Ventures Platform as an important step towards USNC’s mission of advancing US-Nigerian commercial relations. The fund will further align the interests of corporations with entrepreneurs and investors,” said US-Nigeria Council executive director Eliot Pence.

“Ultimately, our goal with this partnership is to deepen, diversify and develop the commercial activity in the tech ecosystem and accelerate investor outcomes. We’re thrilled to work with Ventures Platform to advance that.”

Startups can apply for investment from this fund – or any other run by Ventures Platform – here.

You can read Disrupt Africa’s interview with Kola Aina, part of our “Meet the Investor” series, here.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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