Flutterwave’s founder, Olugbenga Agboola, others back Norrsken22’s $205 million tech fund

Unicorn founders including Flutterwave’s Olugbenga Agboola, Skype’s Niklas Zennström, and Delivery Hero’s Niklas Östberg, have invested in Norrsken22’s $205 million African tech fund.

Norrsken22, an Africa-focused venture capital firm, received the backing of more than 30 unicorn founders and institutions in securing the funds for new tech investments on the continent.

Other investors in the fund include Standard Bank Group Ltd., Norfund, British International Investment, the International Finance Corporation, and the US International Development Finance Corporation.

Where the fund will be invested

According to Norrsken 22 Managing Partner, Natalie Kolbe, the fund is seeking the next generation of “tech giants” on the continent in sectors such as fintech, edtech, and meditech. She added that the investments will largely be focused on startups in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Egypt.

  • “We have made five investments to date, including in Tyme Bank in South Africa. We would like to build out a portfolio of about twenty investments in the beacon economies of Africa,” she said.

Norrsken22 said it’s seeking to invest in the growth in tech businesses expected in Africa, which is fueled by investment in digital infrastructure and smartphone adoption on the continent, said Kolbe.

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In addition, urbanization and the growing need for financial and health services bring an opportunity for tech startups to scale, she said.

Dwindling funding in Africa

Funding for startups in Africa has dwindled this year in line with a slowdown globally. The continent attracted about $2.5 billion during the first half of the year, according to Briter Bridges.

Another central capital fund, Partech, raised more than $260 million to deploy on the continent.

Similarly, a report by the African Private Capital Association (AVCA) revealed that the number of venture capital deals in Africa shrank by 36% in Q3 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. This came as fund managers scaled back their participation in seed and early-stage investments during the period.

In terms of the value of investments, the report showed that African-focused fund managers generated US$1.2 billion in deal value during the third quarter of 2023, which was a 16% drop from the same period last year.

The report further stated fund managers have remained cautious since the beginning of the year, evidenced by the decline in the total deal value across all ticket sizes.

It added that both deals sized below US$100 million and above recorded a significant drop in the total deal value in the first nine months of 2023, compared to the year 2022.

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