Smart capital and growth support for Africa’s boldest Entrepreneurs
Ventures Platform Fund backs hungry and visionary founders with a deep-rooted desire to win; solving some of the hardest problems across Africa. VP Fund invests early in mission-driven founders that are building capital-efficient platforms that democratize prosperity, plug infrastructural gaps, connect underrepresented communities, create efficiencies, solve for non-consumption, and improve livelihoods.
Starting a company is tough, hard, and lonely, and founders have to make difficult decisions daily with limited information. Finding the right community, partners, and support network from the beginning is a force multiplier. We love to partner with founders during their early days of starting a company.
We optimize the outcomes of our portfolio companies by providing support around growth and talent management and granting founders access to our global network. We’ve built a network of engineers, designers, marketers, and investors who work together to provide these companies with exceptional support on the road to success.
We think in terms of founders, markets, and products. A great team, going after a big or growing market with a killer product.
We seek out companies that are capital-efficient, have a clear path to monetization, led by founders with a unique insight into the market, are mission-driven, and have a deep-rooted desire to win.
We are excited to partner with entrepreneurs building early-stage companies in the following verticals;
Financial Services and Insurance
While we have had advancements in digital banking solutions, lending, money transfer, we expect to see a lot more advancement around wealth management, digital currencies, remittance, B2B oriented solutions such as Digital SMB banking, and insurance products that help people better manage uncertainty.
Life Science and Health Tech
We have a broken healthcare system, and as such, it has become increasingly difficult for everyday individuals to access and afford quality healthcare services. We are seeking companies transforming the way we diagnose health issues, access healthcare, pay for it, and experience it; companies providing tools that help healthcare providers become more efficient and cost-effective.
Edtech and Digital talent accelerators
Schools (Primary – Tertiary) need to be able to deliver classes, administer tests, gauge and track performance, engage the student community online. No single event should affect the delivery of education as severely as this has. As the revenue of companies dwindles globally, companies would seek new ways to reduce their cash burn whilst maintaining or improving outcomes. They would search for more cost-effective ways to deliver their products and services. This presents a huge opportunity for organizations providing skilled digital-native talent, as they can outsource this talent to companies across the world at a significantly lower cost.
Businesses of all sizes are increasingly looking to better manage their business process, sales, and teams. Companies that were not leveraging software tools before now, will begin to do so. Consequently, they will optimize their process, reduce burn, and massively increase productivity and revenue.
Digital Infrastructure Plays
Companies building digital rails and networks needed for the optimal operation of industries, enterprises, and more broadly speaking societies.
AgriTech and Food security
Africa needs to move towards food security and sustainability. We need to leverage data and technology to massively increase production, reduce waste, and improve the whole agricultural value chain.
We’ve invested in 30+ companies that push the edge of what’s possible. In the fields of healthcare, financial services, agriculture, education, big data, and Internet Infrastructure. Our companies aim to improve their lives, change industries, and advance humanity.
If you are a mission-driven founder, building a capital-efficient business that democratizes prosperity, plugs infrastructural gaps, connects underrepresented communities, creates efficiencies, solves for non-consumption, and improves livelihoods, we would love to talk to you Apply here
Getting quality marketing materials such as business cards and flyers is a major pain that requires multiple visits to a brick-and-mortar shop. Printivo helps Nigerian business print marketing and business materials with ease. Printivo is an online print shop, users log on to Printivo.com, pick a template they like and edit in real-time to taste, they choose their desired quantity then submit it and pay with a credit card. Printivo prints and ships to their doorstep anywhere you are in Nigeria.
Millions of transactions happen in Africa every day, but very few of those happen online. In Nigeria, just about 1% of transactions happen online. There are many barriers businesses have to face to accept payments online and fixing that is Paystack’s sole focus. Paystack is a payments platform that helps Nigerian businesses accept payments (debit and credit cards) from anyone, anywhere in the world. Paystack makes the online payments process seamless for both consumers and the businesses they are trying to pay.
Nigeria has the highest number of internet users in Africa. However, internet infrastructure within urban environments remains a challenge in the country and the continent which makes connectivity poor and internet overly expensive. wifi.com.ng is leveraging the large wireless capacity available with wi-fi and plummeting cost of solar panels to create a low CAPEX/OPEX network of owned & operated towers to offer disruptive, customer-friendly pricing for unlimited internet.
Food production is a huge problem across Africa, Nigeria farms less than 20% of its arable land and produces less than 20% of the food it consumes. 3 major problems affect smallholder farmers who constitute a bulk of the farming population: they can’t afford to finance increased production on their farms, they get poor yields from existing farms, largely due to lack of requisite tools and inputs and poor access to the market. Thrive Agric enables individuals (subscribers) across Nigeria to contribute to the food production process by committing their funds to Thrive Agric, who in turn deploy these funds to farmers across various communities to help them scale and modernize their farming operations. They provide farmers tools, best practices, equip them with extension services and farm advisory, this leads to higher yields and has increased farmer earnings 3X. Upon harvest, Thrive Agric sells produce to existing off-takers. Farmers, Thrive Agric, and subscribers all share in the upside. Currently, subscribers enjoy a 15-30% return on their investments over a 3-9-month period. All farms are fully insured.
Finding reliable and verifiable data on the continent is hard, data collection is a hassle in Africa. Businesses, governmental organizations, and foreign organizations find it difficult making informed decisions or choices due to a lack of accurate data. crowdForce crowd-source reliable data for individuals or organizations using smart mobile technology and a network of field agents. Organizations can design questionnaires, surveys, and campaigns using easy to use drag and drop form builder. Discuss the project and we will have a crowdForce Expert convert key objectives into a mobile form and deploy to thousands of agents. Companies can also engage in mobile form data scientists to help analyze their data.
Millions of small businesses in Africa struggle to grow due to the lack of accurate financial accounts. They cannot access growth capital due to the trust gap between businesses and banks, they overpay taxes because their income cannot be accurately assessed and they lack insights about their businesses due to lack of data to base their management decisions upon. Accounteer helps businesses manage their finance with ease, businesses can create invoices for customers, manage their inventory, track expenses, calculate tax and generate reports. This works online and offline.
Thanks to Kudi, everyone can have their very own personal assistant/ account officer/money manager. Kudi makes it easier for people to pay bills and pay each other via messaging it also helps agents provide financial services to excluded communities. Kudi is a chatbot powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) that helps you with your finances just by chatting with her. Kudi uses an everyday conversational AI system to communicate with you. She helps you transfer money, keep track of your account details, buy airtime, pay recurring bills such as GOTV, DSTV And PHCN and she also reminds you when some of these bills are due. Kudi also has hundreds of agents across the country providing financial services to under-served areas.
Access to affordable health coverage is out of the reach of lots of Africans. Less than 10% of the African population have any form of health insurance coverage. Millions of Nigerians have never experienced quality healthcare for reasons ranging from lack of availability of qualified doctors to a lack of functioning healthcare systems. Reliance HMO is solving this problem by providing affordable and reliable insurance packages for the average African. Reliance makes health insurance in Africa cheaper and easier to access by combining Telemedicine with data science.
Many hospitals in Africa lack basic equipment because they simply cannot afford it. We constantly hear stories of people dying in hospitals not because they were chronically ill but because the hospital lacked the necessary infrastructure to properly treat the patients. In comes Medical Devices As a Service (MDaaS), the startup that’s providing affordable and high-quality healthcare infrastructure to clinically underserved Africans. They have built a network of private diagnostic and primary healthcare centers that offers radiology, cardiology, and lab services across Nigeria first, with the plans to expand to other parts of the continent. By introducing software, being smarter about process design, investing heavily in an integrated supply chain, and sharing resources across locations, MDaaS has significantly dropped the cost of setting up and operating each center.
In Nigeria, it is not unusual for families to care for elderly relatives at home despite the specialized healthcare needs associated with aging. However, harsh economic conditions and urbanization are sending more working-class Nigerians farther away from home. GeroCare is an affordable subscription-based medical service for the elderly that entitles them to regular doctor home visits. The service advocates preventive healthcare for the elderly as opposed to waiting until something goes wrong. Loved ones can provide access to regular medical care for their aging parents or family in Nigeria irrespective of where they live or work.
The educational system across Africa is fundamentally broken. The traditional classroom system does not give the required one-on-one attention to individual learners. Students are grouped together and taught in the same manner irrespective of their individual needs and most times by incompetent teachers. ProTeach personalizes learning, by using technology to identify learning patterns of students and also teaching a pattern of tutors, then match students to expert and verified tutors who teach in their learning pattern. Students move two grades up after meeting a ProTeach tutor within 3-6 months.
The blue-collar industry in Nigeria and across Africa is broken, it’s hard to find reliable and quality artisans to place on jobs. Wesabi has simplified this process by doing the search and background check and placing them on an easily accessible platform. Wesabi is a platform where anybody can request for a reliable and well-trained plumber, electrician, AC repair expert, painter, cleaner, washing machine, and refrigerator repair experts; anything that has to do with the home or office repairs with just a few clicks. Wesabi pre-verifies these artisans and rates these artisans based on the quality of their work and feedback from customers. There are over 1,000 artisans on the Wesabi platform.
Building a home is very very very expensive. In most cases, you have to deposit a large sum for the land before you can commence building. We see many incomplete buildings because a lot of people are forced to halt the building process due to a lack of funds. Homes that can be built in less than a year are being built for very long periods. Co-BuildIT devised an innovative way to give people the opportunity to build the homes of their dreams in no time. They essentially bring investors together to co-build a home at a dramatically reduced cost while the home buyer pays conveniently over an agreed period.
Nigeria has one of the lowest indexes for saving. Saving is a culture that we have yet to establish. PiggyVest is transforming the way we think about saving. The startup took the traditional ‘kolo’ (piggybank), turned it into an app and automated the saving process. Through the app, PiggyVest (formerly PiggyBank) helps Nigerian millennial and low-middle income earners save small amounts daily, weekly, monthly, or annually, automatically.
Thank U Cash
Thank U Cash is a multi-channel platform for businesses to acquire, retain and reward loyal customers at the point of payments for purchases. Thank U Cash processes payments and offer cashback to buyers every time they make a payment. The company’s technology is integrated into major banks in Nigeria and helps the banks monitor and Incentivize card usages and POS terminals.
Trove is a micro-investing application that allows users to invest in financial securities in Nigeria (Government Bonds, Stocks) and also in international markets (US Exchange Traded Funds & Stocks of US companies) with the tap of a button.
saltbox (formerly SparePad) is designed to serve the needs of Concrete Class Entrepreneurs with purpose-built space and a supportive resource-driven community via a simple, all-inclusive pricing model.
(Formerly Mines.io) Migo is a cloud-based platform that enables companies to offer credit to their customers, augmenting traditional bank and payment card infrastructure. Companies like banks, telecommunications operators and merchants integrate Migo in their apps and Migo underwrites customers to provide them with a digital account and credit line. The customers can use this credit line to make purchases from a merchant or withdraw cash without the need for point-of-sale hardware or plastic cards.
VERTO is a complete FX and payment marketplace built for business. VERTO provides liquidity and price discovery tools for international businesses. The marketplace provides easy access to exotic and foreign currencies with seamless international online payment services.
Send is a digital freight forwarding and courier service for African businesses. Send help businesses ship container and air cargo to Nigeria; managing the entire process — from users suppliers in China, US, UK, Dubai, and India, to the customs clearance and last-mile delivery to customers.
Seamless HR is an easy to use, robust cloud-based HR management software that handles all human resource processes end to end; Recruitment Management, Talent, Payroll and Learning Management. It focuses on helping businesses optimize staff productivity and retention.
FunnelJoy is an all-in-one tool for digital entrepreneurs, marketers, and creators that helps them capture, convert, engage leads, and sell products online.
Tambua Health is using lung sound analysis to transform the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory diseases globally. They have built a hardware device called the T-sense that generates images of the lungs by detecting the vibrations of sound as air moves in and out of the lungs using sensor arrays put on the back of the patient. The team has approached this in a fundamentally different way using first principles and has brought new ideas and advances in machine learning, acoustics, biomedical engineering, and electronics to lung diagnostic.
Brass is a digital bank for SMB 100% online, no walk-ins, that provides them with a suite of product and tools designed to help them grow their business and significantly reduce the friction of doing business.
Gradely leverages artificial intelligence and data to help parents and schools plug learning gaps realtime. It is an adaptive learning platform that identifies student learning gaps quickly and offers tools and resources to close those gaps.
The right combination of infrastructure and policy can attract global talent that will drive technology, innovation and the digital economy. Talent City’s mission is to build a network of charter cities focused on creating technology enabled jobs within a free trade zone with its own regulation and bylaws.
Rise is a wealth management platform that allows individuals to make dollar-denominated investments in Nigeria from as low as $10.
Today, 90% of retail transactions in Africa (and many emerging markets) occur through informal channels — with millions of ‘corner shops’ and field sales agents acting as the first point of contact between consumers and brands. Through MarketForce 360, FMCG companies & financial service providers are able to manage their field sales activities and grow their distribution channels. This represents a TAM of $15B through 15M+ retail outlets in Africa alone.
Mono is a financial API and One-Click Login for the Internet. Propelled by changing consumer habits, the rapid rise of digital wallets, credit apps, real-time payments, and alternative consumer financial services, Mono provides Financial API and One-click Login to companies building for the Internet.
Lemonade, a global bank for Africans, at home and in the diaspora, is making sending money to Nigeria from Canada easier – within 10 minutes. Their platform, available on Google Play and App Store, offers the lowest exchange rate in the market. Transactions are free, safe, and secure. Users can make transfers to any bank and mobile money and can automatically deposit directly into the app.