Africa's venture capital landscape has gained a new player thanks to a side fund launched by French angel collective Kara Ventures, in a bid to propel African startups to greater heights.
An 18-month voyage across Africa by the founders of the sidefund, Réna Kakon and Jérémy Goillot, helped the duo build up connections and market knowledge from the continent's founders. Goillot and Kakon say they invest with a "passion" for African geographies and on a sector-agnostic basis.
With six African businesses already under its belt, the Kara Ventures team has explored markets from Morocco and Tunisia to South Africa, and from Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire to Kenya and Uganda. The side fund has capacity to back 20 African startups over the course of its lifespan.
Kara Ventures typically invests $25,000 to $100,000 and additionally provides assistance with each startup's go-to-market strategy, hiring, legal ops and further fundraising. The programme is funded by a "collective of tech angels" now looking to back AfricaTech and gather insights for the wider European VC ecosystem.
Some quick stats on African tech innovation: Kara Ventures says almost half of the population has their own mobile phone, and the internet economy across Africa could reach $180 billion in value by 2025. The demographic's also getting younger, around half of Africans will be under 24 years of age by mid-century, Kara says.
In a LinkedIn post, angel investor Jérémy Goillot, who also started the growth career education programme Growth.Talent, said: "I wish to dedicate my evenings and weekends to supporting this promising ecosystem. With Rena Kakon, we took on the (crazy) challenge of investing in the best African startups during our free time.
"In seven months we created a fund, embarked rockstar angels, visited 10 African countries and closed six investments!"