Seedstars announces first close of $30m emerging market seed stage fund

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The Switzerland-based Seedstars has launched its second emerging market seed stage fund with a first close of US$20 million.

Since 2013, Seedstars has supported over 90 emerging market venture ecosystems, while its first investment fund – Seedstars International Ventures – backed 81 companies in over 30 countries, including Nigeria’s Omnibiz.

The Seedstars International Ventures II fund is backed by notable investors including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Visa Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Symbiotics.

With US$20 million of its US$30 million target already raised, Seedstars plans to invest in 100 pre-seed and seed stage companies across Asia, Africa, MENA, and LATAM in the next three years. Investments will be focused on companies building for the future of finance, commerce, health, work and education, with follow-on investments up to Series A. The fund also includes a blended finance component with a first-loss tranche that provides downside protection for investments in the lowest-income markets.

“I have no doubt about the abundance of talented founders or the market opportunities, but the challenges can’t be ignored. Our strategy innovates on so many levels to mitigate risk, be it through our country diversification, portfolio construction strategy, value creation platform, or the blended finance structure. We have a unique recipe, an incredible team, and backers in place to build on the success of the first fund and level the playing field for tech entrepreneurs around the world,” said Seedstars partner Charlie Graham-Brown.

Seedstars has also developed a Value Creation Platform to help portfolio companies scale up rapidly. The primary component of the Value Creation Platform is the Growth Track, a three-month mentor-led sprint, where portfolio companies are equipped with the tools and methodologies to run a professional growth team. The platform also provides companies with access to a vast network of 1,300 mentors, support with fundraising, a group of peers, and various other benefits.

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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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