The newly-rebranded VC firm Rali_cap has reached a first close of US$20 million of a US$30 million fund that will invests in B2B and API-first fintech startups in Africa and other emerging markets.
Co-founded by Hayden Simmons, who worked for the likes of Juvo, Migo and Facebook before launching Rally Cap Ventures, a global community of fintech angels investing in and alongside an exclusive portfolio of early-stage emerging market funds, which he founded alongside Kyane Kassiri after the pair met while working for VC firm Lateral Capital.
Rally Cap is now Rali_cap, a change Simmons attributes to “alleged confusion” in the market from another fund.
“We completely disagree with their position, but rather than get sucked into distracting and petty litigation with a fund we’d never heard of, we figured we may as well embrace the opportunity to better internationalise our name,” Simmons told Disrupt Africa.
Meanwhile, the cooperative, which focuses on B2B and API-first fintech startups in Africa, Latin America and South Asia at the pre-seed and seed stages, and has made dozens of African investments, has now become a full-blown fund. The first close of US$20 million was secured from LPs that includes funds such as Bain, Breyer, Better Tomorrow, Lateral, Propel, Infinity, Amador, and Ground Squirrel, while Simmons said it also includes two of largest global multi-stage funds, one of top fintech investment banks, and one of top global financial inclusion funds.
“Much like our collective of operator angels gave our founders an unfair advantage on business development strategy, and global networks, our new institutional LPs de-risk our founder’s series As and Bs, investing in us to build early relationships with top emerging markets fintech founders,” Simmons said.
It is targeting a US$30 million final close in the next few weeks, and will use the capital to lead pre-seed rounds with US$250,000-plus cheques, and follow-on at seed.