Shingai Mutasa, the founder of Masawara Group a local investment firm, was appointed to the advisory board of a US$200 million Africa startup fund according to a report by TechCrunch. The whole initiative is the work of the Norrsken Foundation which if you remember not so long ago announced that it was looking for startups from all over the globe for its US$125K accelerator. Moreover, the foundation recently opened the Norrsken House in Rwanda which will accommodate thousands of startups in the country. The fund which is called Norrsken22 Africa Tech Growth Fund is an endeavour consisting of thirty unicorn founders and a few venture capital and private equity firms and it’s hardly surprising that something like this is happening.
Last year African startups attracted a record US$5 billion in funding with fintech leading the way with the lion’s share of that. The heavy hitters were Nigerian payments gateway Opay which raised US$400 million in a Series C round, peer-to-peer cross-border payments firm Chipper Cash raised US$250 million and Zepz which got US$292 million.
The Norrsken22 Africa Tech Growth fund wants to continue that wave by providing growth capital and “deep strategic value to founders in Africa“. Norrsken22 will also seek to position African startups for international expansion and impact.
A major component of achieving its goals is understanding the different realities that startups across the continent face. And to aid in this Norrsken22 appointed an advisory board that is made up of the aforementioned Shingai Mutasa; Nonkululeko Nyembezi the CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE); Arnold Ekpe, former EcoBank CEO and Phuthuma Nhleko former MTN chief executive.
The hope is that these individuals can help Norsken22 African Tech Growth Fund navigate the African business environment and better translate some of the nuances that exist on the continent. Norrksen’s fund will be focusing on the main tech hubs in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Ghana.
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