VC Trends Watch: April 3–7, 2023

It’s another Friday and back to work for the last four days.

How was the Easter break?

Here’s how the first week of April unfolded in the venture capital space.

Three Major African Funds Launch

  • Equator, a climate tech venture capital firm focused on sub-Saharan Africa, received part of its first fund with $40M in commitments from limited partners including BII, the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), the Shell Foundation and impact investor DOEN Participaties.

The fund will target technical founders with domain expertise building solutions around clean energy, agriculture and mobility, and who ultimately address the impact of climate change on income inequality in Africa.

The firm, which has teams in Nairobi, Lagos, London and Colorado, will also leverage support from Factor[e] Ventures, an organization of venture builders and pre-seed investors.

  • Additionally, Egypt-based Camel Ventures launched an EGP 500 million ($16M) venture capital investment vehicle, dubbed Camel Ventures for Investment I (CVI) and focused on financing Egypt’s growing fintech start-up ecosystem.

The new VC fund will support Egypt’s fintech start-up ecosystem by providing both equity investments for early-stage startups, as well as venture debt for later-stage startups.

  • Lastly, the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed a $525K agreement to support Africa FinTech Network’s (AFN’s) digital hub project.

The digital hub, which will be delivered through a strategic partnership between the Africa FinTech Network and Cenfri, will help to strengthen the fintech ecosystem across Africa and boost the industry’s competitiveness.

African FinTech Company, Peach Payments, Raises $31M Series A Round

Baobab Payments GmbH, trading as Peach Payments – a growing digital payment service provider enabling online payments in Africa- raised a $31M Series A round led by Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners LLP.

The start-up provides a toolkit that enables merchants to accept, manage and make payments via mobile and web. Services offered include online payment acceptance, pay-outs (disbursements), and subscription solutions across a variety of payment types.

Other investors in the round were UW Ventures, Launch Africa and AG Ventures.

Deal Street Roundup

  • South African FinTech start-up, Paymenow, secured a R250M ($14M) debt facility from Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) for the country’s earned wage access (EWA) market.
  • Nigerian shared mobility company, Shuttlers, which takes individual and corporate passengers on rides along multiple bus routes via an app, raised $4M in a new funding round led by Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures

Until Friday next week!


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