Savannah Fund Announces Its Launch Of A $25 Million Fund To Support Early-Stage Startups


March 11, 2021, 11:55 a.m.

Kenyan-based venture capital, Savannah Fund has today announced its launch of a $25 million fund to support early-stage startups on the continent.

Along this line, early-stage startups across Sub-Saharan Africa and women entrepreneurs will receive funding to scale up their businesses.

Led by founders Mbwana Alliy and Paul Bragiel, Savannah Fund is one of the earliest Sub-Saharan Africa-focused tech venture capital firms, starting its investment activities in 2012 when it launched its first accelerator program in Kenya.

The fund will focus on seed to Series A investments in core markets Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa with a key investment focus in sectors including fintech, ed-tech, logistics, e-commerce, SaaS, e-health, agri-tech, and innovation at the bottom of the pyramid.

Before becoming a VC firm, Savannah Fund started as an accelerator program in Kenya. Startups that got accepted participated in cohorts for three months and received up to $30,000 in funding. However, in 2016, Savannah transitioned into venture capital investing, focusing on seed and Series A stages with $25,000 to $500,000 checks

Alliy, in an interview, said the firm has invested in seven startups which indicates effort on their part that would help close the rest of the fund.

“We raised from some angel investors, high-net-worth individuals, so when the official fund launched, we rolled these select companies into the fund,” Alliy said. “We think if you can show that you already have investments you’ve made with your own money, it’s easier to raise from institutional investors, and I think we’re on that path.”

These seven startups cut across the firm’s focus areas, including fintech, edtech, logistics and e-commerce, SaaS, health tech, and agritech. The disclosed investments include South African agritech Aerobotics and car subscription FlexClub, Ethiopian health tech Orbit Health and Kenyan-based Safigen, Moringa School, and Ando Foods.

The company has backed more than 30 startups. Some of its well-known investments include South African car subscription company, FlexClub; Kenyan on-demand logistics company, Sendy; and Nigerian fintech company, Lidya.

The managing partner says Savannah is big on startups that can scale across regions in Africa — Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Uganda in East Africa; Ivory Coast and Ghana in West Africa; and globally.

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.