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EIB Global Backs Seedstars Africa Ventures I

Staff writer
Jan. 10, 2024, 4:55 p.m.
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EIB Global has announced a $30m equity investment in the Seedstars Africa Ventures I venture capital fund.

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EIB Global has announced a $30m equity investment in the Seedstars Africa Ventures I venture capital fund.

“Encouraging and promoting innovation and digitalisation is crucial to developing strong and sustainable economies,” said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. 

“African entrepreneurs hold the key to the continent’s future, creating jobs, reducing inequality and improving quality of life. The EIB, as part of Team Europe, is committed to supporting African businesses, and we are proud of the success of Boost Africa and the ACP Trust Fund.”

Seedstars Africa Ventures I was created by Maxime Bouan, Tamim El Zein and Bruce Nsereko Lule, in partnership with Seedstars, a global organisation that invests and supports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, and LBO France.

The Fund is targeting $80 to $100m and will invest in Seed+ and Series A rounds, with an ability to follow-on significantly, effectively bridging the pools of capital available.

The fund will invest in companies developing and implementing digital technologies, in particular those addressing basic needs such as education, healthcare and utilities, or enhancing goods, services and efficiency.

Robert Daussun, Chairman of LBO France and Stéphanie Casciola, CEO of LBO France, said: “Identifying areas with high growth potential is at the heart of LBO France’s strategy, and we have been reinforcing our position in Africa by targeting highly dynamic sectors and supporting disruptive entrepreneurs. Our commitment to Seedstars Africa Ventures is part of our strategy to offer a range of diversified alternative assets to our investors and allow them to participate in Africa’s growth story, with a strong ESG ambition.”

“The digital sector is a key driver of growth and innovation. Small and medium-sized enterprises, together with start-ups, are fuelling the digital economy. Kenyan and African digital economies have tremendous potential and helping entrepreneurs access finance can be a game changer to foster quality growth and jobs, a common priority for both the EU and our African partners. With Global Gateway, the EU is investing in Africa’s digital transformation and helping provide the right conditions for digital economies to thrive - as demonstrated with the recent digital economy package in Kenya,” said European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas.

The Fund expects to reach a first close early this year, but has already completed four transactions: Beacon Power Services, Poa! Internet, Shamba Pride and Bizao. 

Global pressures in the last 18 months have made it more difficult for companies to access finance, in particular at the earliest stages of developing the business. 

This has limited the expansion of innovative technology companies. Fostering private sector development and the digital economy will contribute to inclusive economic growth, reducing economic and social disparities. 

Digitalisation is a key part of the economic and social development of many African countries. 

It is also a core pillar of the European Union’s Global Gateway strategy.

The $30m EIB Global investment is backed by the EU, through $20m from the ACP Trust Fund and $10m from the Boost Africa programme. 

With this investment, the EIB has now fully deployed Boost Africa, a programme launched in 2016 with the aim of boosting sustainable jobs and prosperity through venture capital for African entrepreneurs. Under Boost Africa, the companies invested in by Seedstars Africa Ventures 1 will also benefit from technical assistance to develop business skills and expertise, funded by the EU.

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