Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures Secures its First Fund at $60M to back growth stage Startups

Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures  (“VKAV”) has closed its first fund at $60 million from SBI Holdings, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Japan International Corporation Agency, and Japan ICT Fund including new investors such as   SCM Capital , formerly known as Sterling Capital Markets Limited, from Nigeria and a few additional institutional investors from Japan, including  Taiyo Holdings  and  C2C Global Education Japan .

The latest capital investment follows the fund’s first and second close in 2022 and 2023, which were backed by Japanese institutional investors including SBI Holdings, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Japan International Corporation Agency and the Japan ICT Fund.

Tingting Peng, Chief Capital, Strategy & Impact Officer at Moove notes, “At Moove we share VKAV’s mission to foster prosperity and reduce economic inequality across the continent, and we’re pleased to see more impactful investment into the African tech ecosystem. Having just closed our Series B funding round, we’re grateful for VKAV’s continued support in our journey and look forward to working together with the team to supercharge our growth” 

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The fund is targeting 3 key areas: companies building digital infrastructure across different sectors; inefficiency solvers who are solving for friction primarily between businesses or between businesses and consumers; and market creators who are creating economic opportunities for people, based on the changing dynamics of the overall African economy and demographics.

With a focus on growth stage companies, VKAV seeks to address the growing gap of funding available, particularly from locally-based investors, for companies moving to Series A and B stages in Africa.

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VKAV partner Ory Okolloh told Techcrunch “Over the last few years, we have seen a growth in pre-seed and seed funds, and we felt there are not enough funds at the growth stage of investing to get these companies to the next level in terms of scale, exits or even being around as sustainable profitable businesses,”

The Fund therefore intends to focus on Series A and B but have the ability to go earlier to pre-Series A if it is a good opportunity. We think there’s still a need for more growth-stage capital with locally based investors,” she said.

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The fund has so far backed 12 companies including  Moove Africa ,  KOKO Networks ,   Ceviant ,  Chari ,  Shuttlers ,  Nawy ,  Julaya ,  NowPay ,  Chefaa ,  Cloudline ,  Zone , and  mTek-Services . 

“VKAV has provided real and tangible value-add to KOKO with our Japanese market entry process, and in our African government relations strategy. They are an unusual firm, combining deep insight into African operating realities with an incredible network in Japan” says Greg Murray, co-founder and CEO of KOKO Networks.

Mostafa El-Beltagy, co-founder and CEO of Nawy, one of VKAV portfolio companies, commented,  “VKAV has been an amazing partner beyond the investment, the team is proactively and consistently seeking ways in which to help make the business more successful. We are very proud to have such a fund as a partner in our journey.”

Launched in 2022, Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures(VKAV), is the first fund by Verod-Kepple Africa Partners, a joint venture between Verod Capital Management, a West African private equity firm investing in mid-sized enterprises across sectors, and Kepple Africa Ventures. 

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