Village Capital, Schooner to accelerate East African agri-tech funding

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Investment and entrepreneurship training firm Village Capital has partnered the impact investment Schooner Africa Fund to launch an initiative to accelerate six-figure investments into agribusinesses in the region.  

The Africa Investment Marketplace launched by Village Capital and Schooner Africa Fund will tackle the disconnect in East Africa between early-stage ventures looking for capital, and investors looking for deal flow.

With East Africa suffering from a disconnect between entrepreneurs and investors, the partners are testing a solution they hope will provide curated deal flow for scalable, early stage companies with innovative business models.  

The focus is on companies in East Africa’s agricultural value chain that are in the so-called “Pioneer Gap”, looking to raise between US$100,000 and US$500,000.

“We are providing due diligence, transaction advisory, investor matching and deal syndication services for eight agribusinesses from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Sudan, selected from Schooner’s and Village Capital’s portfolios and training programmes,” said Cynthia Ryan,  managing director of Schooner Capital.

“By addressing the challenge of robust deal flow and investment readiness, Schooner Africa Fund and Village Capital intend to unlock US$2 million in investments with direct impact on the wealth and livelihoods of smallholder farmers.”

Schooner and Village Capital will be introducing investors to Esoko, FarmDrive, Futurepump, Herdy Limited, Honey Care, iProcure, Ojay Greene, and Wanda Organic, all of which all have offices in Nairobi.    

“Entrepreneurs across Africa have businesses that are dying on the vine because investors are moving far too slowly-or not at all. And investing is a confusing and difficult experience for folks who want to put money to work in Africa’s thriving agribusiness sector,” said Ross Baird, chief executive officer (CEO) of Village Capital.

“If we are going to feed the world and mitigate climate change, African agriculture entrepreneurs will lead the way. The African Investment Marketplace will get the right investment capital to the most promising companies, closing the Pioneer Gap for the continent’s best founders.”

 

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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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