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Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures Secures its First Fund at $60M to Support New Startups

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV) has surpassed a significant milestone by closing its first fund at $60 million. The latest funding round includes support from Nigeria’s SCM Capital, formerly Sterling Capital Markets Limited, along with other notable investors such as Taiyo Holdings and C2C Global Education Japan.

VKAV

VKAV aims to provide essential capital to series A and B startups, addressing a critical gap in local funding pools for growth-stage companies. Partner Ory Okolloh emphasizes the importance of supporting companies at these stages to achieve sustainable growth, scale, and profitability.

About VKAV

VKAV, founded in 2022, is a joint venture between Verod Capital and Kepple Africa. VKAV focuses on investing in startups and enhancing infrastructure for the digital economy. Also, it addresses business inefficiencies and taps into emerging consumer trends.

With investments ranging from $1 million to $3 million, VKAV has already deployed $17.5 million across 12 companies in various sectors. The sectors range from Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Ivory Coast, and South Africa. Okolloh, Ryosuke Yamawaki and Satoshi Shinada founded VKAV.

The fund’s investment strategy includes supporting startups in sectors such as fintech, mobility, e-commerce, prop-tech, deep-tech, insur-tech, energy, and healthcare. Notable investments include Moove Africa, KOKO Networks, Shuttlers, Cloudline, Chari, and mTek-Services, among others.

What VKAV Fund Will be Used For

The VKAV fund startups that are building infrastructure for the digital economy, solving inefficiencies encountered by businesses and market creators for the emerging consumer population. Okolloh says their focus on the latter is helping companies target shifts in consumer trends.

The VKAV fund invests between $1 million and $3 million, with the ability to follow up, having already deployed $17.5 million. Also, investing an average of $1.5 million in 12 companies from Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

The investors span the fintech, mobility, e-commerce, proptech, deep tech, insurtech, energy and healthcare sectors. The sectors include Uber-backed Moove Africa, climate tech scale-up KOKO Networks and Nigerian shared mobility startup Shuttlers. Also, it includes aerospace startup Cloudline, Morocco’s B2B e-commerce and retail startup Chari, and insurtech mTek-Services.

VKAV Fund to Further Explore Other Ecosystem

And while the fund is sector-agnostic, it is paying attention to vertical ERP startups, those offering embedded financial services and players in the future of the work space. They are also “increasingly applying the AI lens to understand how GenAI as a fundamental infrastructure changes the production and distribution of tech-enabled businesses.”

Okolloh said the fund plans to continue exploring other ecosystems, including Angola, Zambia, DRC and Tunisia. The fund works through its team or partner investors. Also, it is in search of new investment opportunities, especially in underserved markets, and continues its push to be pan-African.

“Due to the diversity of markets, shifting macros, markets that are underserved in terms of investors, we think taking a pan-African and sector-agnostic approach is important,” said Okolloh.

Additionally, he said, “We definitely look out for a diversity of portfolio, not just in terms of gender and founders, but in terms of market too.”

Conclusion

The Verod-Kepple Fund joins the growing number of African VKAC funds, receiving backing from Japanese institutional investors looking to diversify their risks. Recently, Novastar Ventures also got capital commitments from the MOL Group and SBI Holdings.

“As an investor, the Japan connection is important, and we hope to expand that later on to even a more broader Asia connection. I think, being immersed in stories and experiences and collaborating with investors and other partners from a market where you can see economic transformation in your lifetime is critical,” said Okolloh.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to learn, partner, share and even exchange with a different part of the world where their experiences are much more relatable. Also, backing exceptional founders in a meaningful way that allows them to thrive.”

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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

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