Black Ostrich sets aside US$20million fund for African SMEs

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Los-Angeles-based  venture capital, Black Ostrich Ventures has launched a $20 million pre-seed and seed stage fund to support African start-ups in the cleantech, supply chain, agritech, and edtech sectors.

The newly created firm will support start-ups with check sizes ranging from $50,000 to $200,000, and the fund will focus on start-ups in Tanzania, Zambia, Morocco, and Uganda. Clearly the usual fund winners like Kenya, Nigeria, South and Ghana are not in here.

Additionally, the firm will offer a follow-on investment of up to $1 million if a company reaches Series A.
Ajani Windsor-Areago, the general partner of Black Ostrich Ventures, says that the decision to focus on these countries was made because he believes that there are significant opportunities for exits and deal activity in these markets.
“If you look at the capital inflows into VC in Africa, the Big Four countries—Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya—attract all the capital. But most exits do not happen in these markets,” he said.

Windsor-Areago also says that the support for African startups will go beyond funding. “We will be working with founders in a very unusual way. We’re going to surround founders with growth experts and marketing experts to help them grow their businesses. It’s one thing to be great at starting a company, understanding the marketing aspect of the business is another,” he said.

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