Outstanding entrepreneurs and start-ups building Africa’s new tech giants are set to benefit from a Sh22.6 billion fund backed by 30 unicorn founders.
The Norrsken22 seeks to provide early-stage funding to businesses within fintech, education, medicine and market-enabling solutions and a significant investment will target Kenyan start-ups.
“Eyes are turning towards Africa as the next epicenter for digital disruption. Technology is enabling emerging enterprises to leapfrog legacy ways of doing business,” said Norrsken22 General Partner Ngetha Waithaka (right).
“Leaders are emerging but a lack of growth capital is holding them back.”
The 30 unicorn founders, drawn from across the globe, are not only contributing their entrepreneurial skills but also a funding of Sh7.3 billion ($65 million).
Among the founders include Olugbenga Agboola, cofounder Flutterwave, Niklas Zennström, co-founder Skype, Jacob de Geer, co-founder iZettle, Niklas Östberg, co-founder Delivery Hero, Carl Manneh, co-founder Mojang, Sebastian Knutsson, co-founder King and Willard Ahdritz, founder Kobalt Music.
The fund is also backed by SEB Pension Foundation and family offices.
The Norrksen Foundation, founded by Klarna co-founder Niklas Adalberth, has teamed up with Hans Otterling, Partner at Northzone, and an investment team led by Natalie Kolbe, previous Global Head of Private Equity at Actis in South Africa, Actis colleague Mr Waithaka in Kenya, and Lexi Novitske, prior founder of Acuity Venture Partners in Nigeria, to launch Norrsken22 Africa Tech Growth Fund.
The fund announced its first close of Sh12.4 billion ($110m).
The fund is dedicated to delivering top-quartile returns and will drive a strong impact across Africa. Norrsken Foundation will reinvest its portion of the capital generated by Norrsken22 back into supporting African entrepreneurship, to further promote the growth of the African tech ecosystem.