Funding

OpenseedVC Debuts with $10M Fund for African Startups

What’s this about?

  • OpenseedVC, launched in 2024, has reached the first close of its $10 million fund aimed at supporting early-stage startups in Africa and Europe, focusing on founders with strong domain expertise.
  • The London-based VC firm plans to invest up to $150,000 in sectors such as B2B software, AI, fintech, digital health, and the future of work, already backing two AI startups in Nigeria and the UK.
  • OpenseedVC emphasizes the importance of founder experience and aims to support startups in challenging macroeconomic climates, leveraging a network of over 50 experienced operators to guide its investments.

Zoom in…

OpenseedVC, an early-stage VC firm that was launched in 2024, has reached the first close of its $10 million fund for early-stage startups across Africa and Europe. 

The $10 million fund is OpenseedVC’s first fund and will be used to back founders with domain expertise, highlighting the increasing importance of founder experience in Africa’s tech ecosystem. The VC firm expects to reach a second close by May next year. 

Before investing, we tend to ask three main questions: How big? Why this team—what’s their unique advantage? And why now?Maria Rotilu, general partner of OpenseedVC, said.

The London-headquartered VC firm will invest up to $150,000 in startups across B2B software, artificial intelligence, fintech, digital health, and the future of work. The firm has already invested in two undisclosed artificial intelligence startups in Nigeria and the UK. 

A lack of domain expertise among founders has been identified as the leading cause of failure among startups. OpenseedVC prioritises founders who demonstrate a clear understanding of the market they are entering and have the skills to navigate the challenges and opportunities it presents.

What they are saying…

Launched in 2024 by Maria Rotilu, “OpenseedVC operates at a sweet spot where startups with strong potential for success, partly based on the founder’s relevant execution ability, receive support.” The VC firm says its approach ensures that capital is directed towards businesses with a higher likelihood of effectively solving real, scalable, and impactful problems.

The launch of OpenSeedVC provides a new alternative for African startups that are looking to raise funds. In 2023, funding for African startups dipped by 33% compared to the previous year, with African startups raising only about $3.2 billion. 

The current difficult fundraising climate is especially harsh for early-stage founders, but we believe incredible companies are born in the most difficult macroeconomic climates. We want to be the first believers in these experienced operators to give [them] a great head start, with capital and an extensive operator network that supports [them] from the start to the launch of their technology companies,” Rotilu said in a statement.

Bottomline

OpenseedVC claims to have a network of over 50 experienced operators—who have deep experience across its investment sectors—supporting the founders alongside the team. The VC firm, which currently invests across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, says it hopes to have a balanced portfolio across both regions in the future.

Source: techcabal.com

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