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Catalyst Fund invests into 10 startups

Staff writer
Jan. 10, 2023, 5:36 p.m.
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Catalyst Fund has announced a $2m investment into 10 startups building solutions to improve the resilience of climate-vulnerable communities in Africa.

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Catalyst Fund has announced a $2m investment into 10 startups building solutions to improve the resilience of climate-vulnerable communities in Africa.

This is the inaugural cohort of the new $30m VC fund of Catalyst Fund, anchored by financial sector development agency FSD Africa, aimed at supporting early-stage founders to develop technology that will make Africa more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Each of the 10 startups will be offered $100K of equity investments as well as $100K of hands-on venture-building support.

These companies will join Catalyst Fund’s existing portfolio of 61 startups across emerging markets and receive capital, bespoke and expert-led venture-building support, and direct connections with investors, corporate innovators and talent networks that can help them scale.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with ten groundbreaking African startups working to build a more resilient and sustainable future,” said Maelis Carraro, Managing Partner of Catalyst Fund.

“Our goal is to back mission-driven founders that share our vision of a world where every individual has the tools and opportunities they need to thrive. From agtech to insurtech, waste management, disaster response, and carbon finance, these startups display finance, tech, and business model innovations that will help communities better adapt to climate impacts and grow their resilience.”

The ten companies joining this next cohort of Catalyst Fund are: Agro Supply [Uganda]: a mobile layaway system for farmers;  Assuraf [Senegal]: a digital insurtech platform Bekia [Egypt]: a tech-enabled waste collection solution; Eight Medical [Nigeria]: a cloud-native Emergency Medical Services (EMS) platform; Farm to Feed [Kenya]: a food supply chain company; Farmz2U [Nigeria, Kenya]: an agtech enterprise;  Octavia Carbon [Kenya]: the Global South’s first Direct Air Capture (DAC) company; PaddyCover [Nigeria]: an insurance platform; Sand to Green [Morocco], which transforms deserts into cultivable land using agroforestry methodology and a solar-powered desalination system to design climate-smart regenerative farms; and VAIS [Egypt]: a precision agtech startup. 

“At FSD Africa, we believe that by harnessing the power of tech, and specifically fintech innovation, we can help to spur the development of climate resilience solutions for Africa, thereby helping deliver on COP27’s core themes of adaptation and implementation," said Juliet Munro, Director of Digital Economy at FSD Africa. “These companies are strong examples of the innovation we need to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities in across the continent.” 

“COP27 in Egypt this year called for more private sector financing to fill the >$330bn funding gap for adaptation and resilience by 2030. It also called for more local innovations to support communities in building resilience to climate impacts. The Catalyst Fund’s new cohort exemplifies what these innovative climate solutions for the most vulnerable could look like. We are also thrilled to be backing companies in Francophone Africa and Northern Africa for the first time. We intend to back many more startups like them across the African continent in the years to come,” said Aaron Fu, Partner at Catalyst Fund.

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