EIB invests €12.5M in African tech start-up fund Atlantica

17 Feb 2022 | Network Updates | Update from European Investment Bank
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

  • New venture capital investment to support African tech-start-ups
  • Atlantica Ventures latest specialist innovation financing partner to benefit from Boost Africa
  • Support for African start-ups unveiled at EU-Africa Business Forum

Venture capital investment in innovative and technology driven companies across Africa will be enhanced by over USD 11.3 million (c. EUR 10m) in junior capital from Boost Africa and USD 12.5m (c. EUR 11m) in senior capital European Investment Bank backing for start-up fund Atlantica.

Atlantica Ventures is the latest African investment partner to benefit from the Boost Africa initiative.

“The European Investment Bank is committed to improving access to finance by innovative companies across Africa and around the world. The EIB’s new partnership with Atlantica Ventures will scale up specialist financing for technology and technology-enabled companies across Africa to ensure that technology can contribute to delivering inclusive and sustainable growth.” Said Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President.

“Atlantica Ventures is delighted to announce that it reached over USD 50 million in commitments, anchored by EIB and Boost Africa. We will continue engaging further investors till final close. We believe that the start-up ecosystem benefits from venture capital funds that are dedicated to Africa and can contribute their know-how and experience to support the growth of start-ups. Such funds benefit from investors that have a belief not only in the fund managers but also in the potential of the market. EIB and Boost Africa have demonstrated that belief by their support of Atlantica Ventures, and we look forward to the partnership and joint effort to transform and uplift the African tech ecosystem.” Said Ik Kanu, co-founder of Atlantica Ventures.

Unlocking innovation driven economic growth across Africa

Africa’s rapidly urbanizing, young, and mostly online and mobile-first population is bolstering demand for tech and tech enabled goods and services. As a result, the continent has witnessed the exponential growth of startups that are ready to tackle complex local problems that address the growing need and demand from this new wave of consumers as well as help reduce or eliminate existing inefficiencies and gaps that have held back African countries from reaching their full potential. This tech ecosystem growth has been supported by venture capital funding which reached an all-time high in 2021 - estimated between USD 4.5-6.0bn - from local venture capital investors and increasingly from global capital allocators.

Partnering with tech investment experts

Aniko Szigetvari and Ik Kanu founded Atlantica Ventures, an early-stage pan-African impact focused venture capital fund, with the belief that Africa’s and the world’s problems can and will be solved by African entrepreneurs channelling their passion and skills through technology. 

Atlantica Ventures operates at the intersection of innovative business models and technology to generate financial returns and positive impact. Atlantica Ventures supports founders who solve problems through the use of technology to unlock economic potential and opportunities for their customers and other stakeholders.

To date, Atlantica Ventures has invested in Sabi (Sabi.am), OnePipe (onepipe.com), Sendy (sendy.it) and Curacel (curacel.co), to name a few; all companies whose founders have created sustainable and scalable business models to increase financial inclusion and/or to bring the informal workforce into the formal economy to improve their economic well-being.

Aniko and Ik have a combined 35 years of investment and operational experience in technology in Africa, supporting companies from the earliest stages of development to IPO. The global perspective, a hands-on and data driver approach employed by Aniko and Ik lends Atlantica Ventures the ability to look around the corner and develop a thesis before mainstream adoption occurs.

As a majority female owned and managed fund, Atlantica Ventures also aims to contribute to the development of the larger ecosystem by fostering the growth of the next generation of female technology investors.

Boost Africa transforming entrepreneurial investment across Africa

Jointly developed by the EIB and the African Development Bank (AfDB) with financial support from the European Commission and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States Secretariat (OACPS), Boost Africa aims at unleashing the entrepreneurial potential of African youth through investment by venture capital funds.

The initiative specifically targets 5 main objectives:

  • boost entrepreneurship and innovation,
  • create new and quality jobs,
  • develop an efficient entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa,
  • address financing gaps at the earliest and riskiest stages of business creation
  • and develop young entrepreneurs’ skills and expertise.

The new pan-African start-up financing cooperation was confirmed in Brussels ahead of the EU-Africa Summit.

This article was first published on 16 February by EIB.

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