As we reflect on our activities in 2021, we are grateful to our team, investors, community, partners, and, more importantly, the founders we've been fortunate to back, who have made this a fantastic year.
Some highlights of the year that was;
This year has been our most active; we made our first investments in Egypt and Zambia. We invested in 28 new companies in 2021 across four countries, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, and Zambia.
Eleven portfolio companies got into some of the best accelerators globally, nine into Ycombinator, one into Techstars, and one into Ondeck.
We hosted a day-long retreat for founders within the portfolio with participation from a few veteran founders and executives such as Sim Shagaya, Adia Sowho, Ugodre Obi, and Odun Longe.
Over $150M in follow-on capital was raised across the portfolio in announced and unannounced deals. Overall, our startups recorded strong growth across key metrics and also returned capital to our investors.
We co-hosted a webinar with the London Stock Exchange on Going Public on the LSE as an African company.
We announced the first close of our $40M Pan-African fund, with participation from local and global investors such as Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), United Africa Company of Nigeria (UAC), VFD Group, Michael Siebel (CEO Ycombinator), Adam Draper, Shola Akinlade (Co-founder Paystack, early portfolio company), and other high-profile institutions and individuals. This new fund will enable us to double down on supporting the best entrepreneurs, building products, tools, and services aimed at moving Africa forward; we would also be investing more in our portfolio support function and participating in follow on rounds in portfolio companies. Read more here.
We believe the internet is still in its early stages in Africa; individuals and businesses are increasingly discovering the “magic” created on the Internet. We are seeing; an acceleration in the adoption of digital tools by individuals, businesses, and government institutions; growth in the creator economy, social commerce, remittance, health, payment, and several other verticals.
Over the next decade, we will witness an increase in the adoption of digital tools by individuals and organisations across all sectors, including; Education, Health Care, Finance, Government, and more. Technology will drive changes and improvements in education and cross-border trade delivery while introducing new efficiency and accountability in governance. It will improve how we access and consume health services, help organisations manage their processes, and increase employee productivity. Technology will be critical to Africa’s economic growth, and technology companies will emerge as some of Africa’s most valuable companies.
Our mission remains the same; we will be right there at the centre, funding, supporting, and cheering these founders building market-creating innovations as they solve for non-consumption and build the future of Africa.
Once again, thanks to everyone who has been a part of our journey, and we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New year.