Tech company founders launch venture capital fund for Africa
The founders of companies like Klarna and Skype, among others, are deploying a new $200 million venture capital fund to find new unicorns in Africa, according to a report.
According to Klarna co-founder Niklas Adalberth told the Financial Times on Sunday January 30, Africa was probably similar to Sweden in 2005 when Klarna was founded.
At the time, he said it was possible to get start-up funding for businesses, although there was also little capital to help them grow into unicorns, which are companies with a worth at least $1 billion.
Dozens more are taking part – the leaders of Delivery Hero and Flutterwave are among them.
The report says the fund was started by the Norrsken Foundation set up by Adalberth. He is looking to raise up to $2 billion. It will do this by inviting venture capitalists like Sequoia to co-invest.
On Monday (January 31), the group is expected to offer its first closing of $110 million. And the company is in talks to secure possible early investments, with 400 companies in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, among others, set to talk.
BNPL has grown in popularity lately in Africa, with the service gaining traction with digitally savvy and mostly underbanked populations looking for a new solution.
One example was the deal between South Africa-based player BNPL Payflex, which was acquired by Zip as that company continued to expand.
Payflex was BNPL’s first and largest player in the region, one of Africa’s largest economies.
See more : BNPL seduces African buyers
The deal was an early sign that the continent, which has seen little activity from global BNPL players, is ready for more.
And recently, Kenya-based consumer finance and BNPL company Lipa Later raised $12 million from international investors, looking to expand its presence there.
And Moroccan B2B e-commerce and fintech platform Chari has announced a $100 million seed round acquisition as it plans to launch into BNPL.