Launch Africa Ventures closes first fund at $36.3m, makes 100th investment

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Early-stage VC firm Launch Africa Ventures has made its 100th investment, making it probably the most active investor in African tech startups, and closed its first fund at US$36.3 million.

Launched in July 2020 by Zachariah George and Janade du Plessis, with chairperson Margaret O’Connor also on the board, Launch Africa Ventures closed its its inaugural fund, Launch Africa Ventures Fund 1, in March at US$36.3 million, with investments from 238 retail and institutional investors in 40 countries.   

Following the successful closure, Fund 1 announced its 100th investment at the end of May, with US$24 million so far invested in 108 early-stage tech and tech-enabled companies across 20 African countries. 

“We assist the African founders of early-stage tech and tech-enabled companies to focus on what the continent needs right now – the rapid growth of businesses solving real-world problems combined with the creation of high-value jobs in sustainable ventures. We are proud to have helped many founders close their seed funding rounds in 4-6 weeks, notably faster than the 4-6 months it typically takes for early-stage founders to close rounds in Africa,” said George.

Launch Africa also facilitates co-investment by its Limited Partners (LPs) through sharing due diligence, waiving fees and absorbing charges for LPs in the seed and pre-Series A investments led by the fund. To date, Launch Africa LPs have co-invested in excess of US$14 million in Launch Africa portfolio companies. 

“The Launch Africa team works with founders and expert advisors to fast-track exit opportunities for investors,” du Plessis said. “Providing our exit strategy during these challenging times instills investor confidence and brings significant benefits to the African tech ecosystem.”

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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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