ABAN, AfriLabs partner to launch African matching fund Catalyst

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The African Business Angel Network (ABAN) has partnered AfriLabs to launch Catalyst, a co-investment fund that will match investments made by registered angel investors with institutional funds.

The partnership between AfriLabs, a pan-African network of technology and innovation centres, and ABAN aims to increase the pool of capital available to promising African growth-stage entrepreneurs, support the startup ecosystem, and increase the visibility of impact to institutional funders.

Catalyst operates as a co-investment fund that will match investments from qualifying angel investors into African growth-stage companies. Funds are being raised from various institutional partners to add to the pool, which aims to encourage investment in viable startups by verified angel investors. 

The first Catalyst co-investment fund will be available towards the end of 2019. Funds from Catalyst will be released after startups have received investments from angel investors that are part of an angel network registered with ABAN. To be eligible, startups are required to register on the Catalyst platform through hubs that are members of the AfriLabs network. 

“When we signed the MOU with AfriLabs at their Annual Gathering in Dar es Salam in 2018, we were excited about the opportunity for partnership between angels and hubs on the continent. Catalyst will facilitate the development of those relationships as the first initiative of what we expect to be a highly valuable and long lasting collaboration between AfriLabs and ABAN,” said ABAN president Tomi Davies.

AfriLabs board chair Rebecca Enonchong said as the first pan-African programme of this type, developed by Africans, for Africans, Catalyst was a “real gamechanger”.

‘‘We have all recognised the need to increase early stage funding for our African founders. Catalyst not only does that, but it helps to structure the ecosystem, supports collaboration, and provides actionable insights into the early-stage funding landscape, all the while strengthening our hubs and our angel networks,” she said.

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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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