Thursday, April 18, 2024

MENA VC Flat6Labs’ new fund to again startups in East, West Africa


Flat6Labs is amongst essentially the most lively VCs in Africa, having invested in over 100 startups thus far, throughout the Center East and North Africa (MENA) area. And now, after 11 years, the Egypt-based seed-stage accelerator is setting out on a foray into East and West Africa by a $95 million Africa Seed Fund funding car that can mark its first enterprise exterior MENA.

“We’re embarking on a brand new section for the group by increasing into sub-Saharan Africa by Africa Seed Fund,” the agency’s CEO Ramez El-Serafy advised TechCrunch, including that the enlargement will probably be gradual, with two-thirds of its allocations nonetheless going to enterprises in North Africa. Flat6Labs is eyeing an preliminary shut earlier than the yr ends.

“We’re including Kenya and its neighboring markets in East Africa, and the Anglophone and francophone sides of West Africa, together with Nigeria, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroon,” mentioned El-Serafy.

Flat6Labs, additionally a seed accelerator, has beforehand administered country-specific funds, together with a $10 million Anava Seed Fund for Tunisian startups, and it is just now that it’s working a fund for startups in a number of nations.

“With markets throughout the area maturing somewhat bit, it is sensible that we begin cohesive areas by way of the common buying energy, and alternatives — the merchandise that you just see being created in these markets are very related and simple to take from one nation to the following,” mentioned Flat6Labs CIO Dina El-Shenoufy.

Flat6Labs $95 million Africa Seed Fund is sector agnostic

The fund is sector agnostic and plans to put money into fintechs, healthtech, logistics, mobility, cleantech, agtech, retail and e-commerce startups.

Flat6Labs will make investments between $150,000 and $400,000, and make follow-on investments of as much as $500,000 to make sure continued help for the startups. It invested between $30,000 to $100,000 in earlier funds.

“We offer the capital, however there’s an enormous worth by way of how we work with the corporate due to how we place ourselves as an institutional co-founder of the corporate by serving to them arrange the corporate, register it, and supply entry to our networks. We’re one of many few gamers in North Africa that’s increasing south in Africa, so that is additionally one thing that additionally provides numerous worth in the case of our geographic publicity,” mentioned El-Serafy.

The cohort, he says, can have founders from completely different areas, creating a chance for people from completely different cultures, and backgrounds to work together, share concepts, work collectively, and achieve the chance to entry new markets. Flat6Labs will admit 10 to fifteen startups each six months in its seed program. The accelerator plans to again as much as 170 startups over the following 5 years.

El-Shenoufy mentioned that: “About 60 % of the checks will most likely be checks that occur alongside the [seed] program whereas the remainder will probably be straight checks for extra mature founders.”

Flat6Labs, which claims to have $100 million in belongings below administration, was based in Egypt, and has through the years deployed a number of country-specific funds, and accelerator applications with companions in seven nations together with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Lebanon.

A few of its companions in earlier funds embrace the Worldwide Finance Company (IFC), the MSME Growth Company, Egypt Ventures and the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund.

With the brand new program, the accelerator hopes to be a part of the help that startups throughout Africa want, particularly within the wake of a troublesome fundraising surroundings.

“We’re very enthusiastic about Africa, it is among the quickest rising markets on the planet. It is extremely distinctive by way of its younger inhabitants, and the necessity for expertise to resolve most of the challenges that we face on the continent. It makes numerous sense for us additionally as a company to be increasing south,” mentioned El-Serafy.

“We additionally know rising markets very nicely. I’ve been working within the Center East for the final 11 years investing in founders in the course of revolutions just like the Arab Spring.It’s wonderful to work with all these founders and help them throughout these occasions,” he mentioned.

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