NewsWeekend Features

Weekend Feature – Profiles of Agric Investors

This weekend, we look at profiles of investors into Africa’s Agriculture space, with an emphasis on Agritech.

1) True Ventures

True Ventures is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in early stage technology startups. With more than $2 billion under management, True provides seed and Series A financing to entrepreneurs in today’s fastest growing markets. To date, True has helped more than 300 companies launch and scale their businesses, creating over 20,000 jobs worldwide.

Investment Chest: $2billion

What They Say About Themselves

  • We invest in founders with whom we’re aligned on mission, meaning, and the belief that entrepreneurship can and should make the world a better place.
  • Our goal is to empower the world’s most talented entrepreneurs.
  • True is deeply committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in the startup and venture capital ecosystem.
  • We invest heavily in resources and educational events to help True founders and their teams reach their full potential.
  • True is for founders who want to make a real difference, change the world, and build something non-linear.
  • Great companies are built by diverse teams that are supported and empowered to be maximally creative.
  • True provides the right amount of financial capital and a heaping quantity of human capital to help bring your vision to life.

Investment Portfolio Profile

Software Stores, Hardware Store, Social Media, Security, Cloud Infrastructure, Cloud Storage, Food And Beverage, Molecular Technology, Restaruant, Web Devt, Personalised Health Solutions,Automation Platform, Protein Production, Micro-Satellites/Real Time Imagery,Commercial Cleaning Robots, Open Source IT Mgt, Digital Content – Submission Mgt Platform

African Agric Investment – WeFarm

What They Said About True Ventures

“Wefarm’s mission is incredible, and we’re ecstatic to support Kenny and his team, The company democratizes technology, promotes the fluidity of information across an entire segment of the food supply, and helps farmers become more productive. Wefarm is the kind of movement True was designed for, and we are excited to empower this business and mission for the world.” – Jon Callaghan, co-founder of True Ventures.

We were delighted to see our friends at True Ventures announce their newest set of funds. Foundry Group and True Ventures have a long-standing relationship as friends, peers, and co-investors. It’s fun to note that both Foundry and True were founded in the same vintage of emerging managers, although they got started a couple of years before us. Our firms were founded with overlapping values and ambition to support entrepreneurs differently than many VC firms created before 2003 – Foundry Group

2) GreenTec Capital Partners

GreenTec is Germany’s premier investor in African startups that show both promise and the ability to make an environmental, social, and economic impact. The company provides a unique low-cost investment model called “results4equity” that supports new firms transitioning from overlooked startups to sustainable companies.

What They Say About Themselves

  • A long-term investor that joins forces with startups from the proof of concept stage onwards and SMEs.
  • Target under the radar companies with a sustainable business model to create exclusive investment opportunities with economic, social and/or environmental impact in Africa.
  • Transformative investment in African innovation
  • GreenTec Capital Partners invests in African start-ups and SMEs with a focus on combining social and environmental impact with financial success.
  • Our mandate is to maintain at least 75 percent impact focused enterprises and we aspire to grow 400 companies by 2023.
  • Jointly, we seek to transform innovative local businesses with a proof-of-concept into successful and sustainable enterprises that have growth perspective in Africa and beyond.
  • We do more than just invest: We provide custom-tailored operational support to transform companies and help them create the additional added value necessary to bridge funding gaps and early crucial phases.
  • We offer start-ups individually tailored operational support packages designed around mutually agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) connected to company development and funding

Investment Portfolio Profile
Logistics, ICT, Waste Management, Recycling, Recruitment Services, Staffing, Animal Feed, Agri inputs, E-commerce, EdTech, Solar Energy, Renewables, Big Data, Analytics, SAAS, Computer Manufacturing/ICT, Wellness, Cosmetics, E-Learning, Fintech, Software Development, Legal Tech, SAAS, Organic Agri Inputs, IP, Financial Sevices, Insurance, InsureTech

African Agric Investments
African Agritech – FarmCrowdy, Divine Masters Limited, AgroCenta, Afrilife, Agriculture, Forestry, NFCs, IP

What They Said About GreenTec

“We promote the commitment of German companies in the future markets of Africa – especially if it makes sense not only economically, but also ecologically and socially. GreenTec Capital is doing pioneering work here with its German technology partners and African start-ups.” – Dr. Gerd Müller , German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

“GreenTec Capital Partners are rare in the world of investors. Their dedicated team has been instrumental to helping me develop my company and improve on my company’s business model and impact. With their help, DML has been able to develop important partnerships that will allow us to scale our business and help more rural farmers to improve their livelihoods. “
Orisa Rapahel, CEO DML

3) Novastar Ventures

Novastar is a venture capital manager dedicated to finding and supporting the next generation of exceptional entrepreneurs designing and executing innovative business models to profitably serve Africa’s mass markets.

In so doing, these entrepreneurs and their ventures can generate large-scale benefits to low-income households and attractive returns to investors.

Investment Chest: $160million

What They Say About Themselves

  • Entrepreneurs and their ventures can generate large-scale benefits to low-income households and attractive returns to investors.
  • While we are managing a pool of capital, we do not think of ourselves primarily as fund managers. The fun and focus of our work is partnering with entrepreneurs to help bring ideas to life and multiply their impact. 
  • We deploy distinctive assets and capabilities to support exceptional entrepreneurs creating and growing breakthrough businesses in East and West Africa.
  • While we are local, we are not parochial. We are a multi-national team that has created, supported and managed businesses in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States.
  • Time and money are inevitably in short supply for the start-up. We are investors who can move quickly. And if we decide not to invest we’ll give constructive feedback right away.
  • We understand that it takes time to build a significant business from scratch in this region. We look to back entrepreneurs with whom we can have a long term, symbiotic relationship where our objectives are aligned.

Investment Portfolio Profile

Ed tech, local news and information platform, agritech, agriculture, artisan Technology platform connecting, Furniture, Healthtech/logistics, Affordable Internet Service, Organic Waste, Credit Backed Off-Grid Solar Energy, Low-income household power ,fashion-tech, affordable cooling systems for  small businesses and medical applications

African Agric Investments

Agritech – GreenPath, iProcure, Komaza, Lynk, M-Farm,

Novastar Ventures will invest as little as $250,000 in firms with unproven business models that aim to address “a big problem in a big market’. Following initial small funding rounds the fund will then invest more than $6-million in high-growth companies through multiple capital rounds – Ventureburn

Novastar Ventures’ vision is to see sub-Saharan Africa “populated” with a growing number of high capacity entrepreneurs building innovative businesses that serve the common good.

“We aim to demonstrate that commercial venture investing can generate both large-scale social benefits for the mass market and attractive financial returns for investors, thereby unlocking more capital to fuel entrepreneurship in the region,”   – Co-founder and managing partner Novastar Ventures, Steve Beck.

4) Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (DRK Foundation)

Is a private foundation focused on high impact philanthropy. Specifically, it makes philanthropic investments in nonprofit ventures that it believes to have high impact.

Investment Chest: $110million

What They Say About Themselves

  • Was founded on a belief in the power of innovation and the conviction that with bold support, passionate individuals with great ideas can change the world.
  • We measure impact by looking at the number of lives affected, the rates of growth of the organizations we support, and the evidence of systemic change they create.
  • Find, fund and support exceptional leaders with passion, tenacity and vision.
  • Two beliefs drive our funding model:  1) unrestricted capital is the most precious capital that social entrepreneurs need to build their organizations; and 2) multi-year funding, as opposed to a one-time grant, is a critical success factor in helping great organizations achieve scale.
  • Just giving early stage organizations money and checking in periodically isn’t enough. Our approach is different. We partner with the leaders of our portfolio organizations and provide rigorous, ongoing support, including taking a board seat for three years.
  • We work day and night with our entrepreneurs, opening our networks, facilitating meetings, convening critical resources and working side by side with each leader to help them reach their full potential and build their organization to scale.
  • We look for sustainable impact
    We look for leveraged solutions that will create lasting positive change. We look for game-changing ideas that create better opportunities and outcomes for the future.

Investment Portfolio Profile

Arts& Culture, Civic Enjoyment , Education, Environment and Climate Change, Food & Agriculture, Health, Social Justice, Systemic Poverty

Africa Agriculture Investments

One Acre Fund, MyAgro, Cowtribe

DRK Foundation invests exclusively in high-impact potential organizations, reviewing hundreds of opportunities annually, but selecting only a handful in which to invest, DRK Foundation chose Ocean Outcomes as an investee given the potential impact of a new economics-driven approach to small-scale fisheries reform that Ocean Outcomes is developing.” – Investee, Ocean Outcomes.

5) CDC Investment

CDC is responsible for over 10 per cent of all capital invested through Africa-focused private equity funds.

Investment Chest: $5.5billion

Investment Portfolio Profile

Business Services, Communications and IT, construction and real estate, Consumer Services, Education, Financial Services, Food and Agriculture, Health, Infrastructure, Manufacturing

Africa Agric Investments

Coscharis Farms Ltd, Crest Agro Products, Dayntee Farms Ltd, Diamond Pearl Agro Allied Ltd, L & Z Integrated Farms Ltd, Elephant Group Ltd

What They Said About CDC“Investors have a real opportunity to embrace the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – in partnership with African countries and businesses – to fight climate change, create jobs and skills and bring about positive social and environmental change.”

“The commitments we have announced today will accelerate the roll-out of solar power and other renewable technologies and support the growth of countless SMEs – the bedrock of any healthy economy – across the continent.” – Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of CDC

“The role of development finance institutions like CDC is vital in providing much needed long-term patient capital for African entrepreneurs and businesses. There is a significant opportunity for UK investors to work with African businesses to create a brighter, sustainable and more prosperous future for the continent.” – Strive Masiyiwa, the founder of pan-African telecoms, media and technology company Econet.

See links for feature weekend articles here:

1) Agritech Africa – Emerging Trends https://getfundedafrica.com/2020/04/10/weekend-feature-agritech-africa-emerging-trends/

2)  Funding & Agritech in Africa…with a snapshot of 2019 https://getfundedafrica.com/2020/04/03/gfa-weekend-feature-funding-agritech-in-africa-with-a-snapshot-of-2019/ 

GetFundedAfrica curates funding news across Africa and emerging markets. Subscribe for GetFundedAfrica Newsletters: https://getfundedafrica.com/pricing-plans/

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