Village Capital has announced the close of a US$17.7 million fund by its investment arm VilCap Investments, with 29 investors backing the fund.
The VilCap Investments fund drew backing from global investors including Jean and Steve Case; Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein; Jim Sorenson; and Bob Pattillo, among others.
Village Capital said the fund will invest in high-growth, early-stage ventures focused on innovation in five key sectors: healthcare, education, financial services, sustainable agriculture, and energy.
Managing director of VilCap Investments, Victoria Fram, said the fund will focus on large market opportunities which bring affordable services to underserved populations across the five key sectors; and that the company has plans to continue and scale up Village Capital activity in Africa.
“We’re interested in large market opportunities where we see the potential for entrepreneurs to address underserved populations with better access to affordable services, and where entrepreneurs can help solve problems around the food and energy needs of a growing population on a world with limited natural resources,” Fram told Disrupt Africa.
“We have a global strategy that currently includes nine investments in East Africa and one investment in West Africa – Nigeria -, in addition to investments in the US, Mexico, and India. With a full-time regional team based in Nairobi, we are very excited about continuing to work with and invest in a strong pipeline of entrepreneurs in Africa across our five target sectors, and anticipate launching additional Village Capital programmes in Africa over the coming year,” she said.
Disrupt Africa has reported over the past year on Village Capital’s activities across Africa, which included a fintech for agriculture accelerator programme held in Kenya; a hardware accelerator hosted in partnership with Kenyan makerspace Gearbox, which also scaled to Ghana recently.
Village Capital also launched a worldwide community-based entrepreneur-mentoring initiative, known as VilCap Communities Global, earlier this year, with five Africa-based communities already announced.