- The venture market is in the middle of a downturn, but there are still plenty of emerging fund managers. Seedstars announced today it has launched a platform called Seedstars Capital with Swiss-based investment holding company xMultiplied to help new fund managers around the world launch funds and develop their investment firms.
Seedstars Group co-founder and Seedstars Capital managing partner Michael Weber and Seedstars Capital partner Benjamin Langer told TechCrunch in an email that “Seedstars’ mission is to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship.” Over the past decade, it has supported various stakeholders, mostly tech entrepreneurs, through entrepreneurial programs.
“We’ve seen so many talented entrepreneurs grow their companies very fast, to the standard of the U.S. or Europe, but unfortunately too many struggle to raise capital to grow even faster. To continue our mission to support them, Seedstars is now supporting the next generation of VC fund managers in emerging markets that will then back those promising entrepreneurs.”
Seedstars Capital will look for sector and industry-specific strategies in regions and countries like Brazil, Nigeria, Indonesia and India. It is looking for funds that target pre-seed to Series A companies, because that is where they see the biggest funding gaps and potential.
“Ideally, we want to support gender-diverse teams as we know we need a more inclusive industry,” said Weber and Langer. “We are convinced this will have a tremendous impact at the portfolio level and we will be able to empower more women entrepreneurs.”
The platform will incubate, accelerate and invest in new venture capital funds in emerging markets like Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. Managers have usually raised a micro fund, already have experience as angel investors or worked at larger investment firms, and are in the process of launching their first institutional funds of between $15 million to $50 million.
Many fund managers are ones that Seedstars has known for a long time “and despite having relatively little track record on their own we knew they had the necessary skills to become top performing managers,” Weber and Langer said.
In fact, this is how Seedstars International Ventures began. Weber and Langer had worked with co-founder Charlie Graham-Brown since 2014, and in 2019 launched its first global fund for emerging markets, focusing on pre-seed stage. Last year, it launched Fund II with Patricia Sosrodjojo, which is now backed by the IFC, the Rockefeller Foundation, Visa Foundation and Symbiotics, among other investors.
Seedstars Africa Ventures, which invests across the continent, was also formed in a similar way. Seedstars had known Tamim El Zein and Maxime Bouan since they worked at Blue Orchard, focusing on Africa. They hired a third partner, Bruce Nsereko-Lule, and now the fund has LBO France as an anchor investor.
“Over the last year, we have meet with many exceptionally talented teams working very hard building their ecosystems and investing in outstanding entrepreneurs across emerging markets,” Weber and Langer said. “We want to partner with them and allow them to develop their strategies and have a powerful and positive impact.”