Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, co-founder of Andela and Flutterwave, on Tuesday, announced his Future Africa initiative, has launched an early-stage investment fund that will back up to 20 founders with up to US$50,000 of capital each year.
The fund will invest up to US$50,000 in up to 20 startups annually, and has already made about 15 investments in startups such as Fibre, 54gene, MdaaS Global and Max.ng. Aboyeji said it would also provide startups with access to a network of talent and early customers, which he said could make the difference between success and failure for many startups.
“We’re excited to partner with passionate founders who are creating brilliant solutions to different problems,” he said.
Aboyeji said there was not enough capital for mission-driven founders building socially impactful businesses in Africa, with the main gap being early-stage angels backing unproven innovators solving real problems. The Future Africa Fund looks to fill that gap, and to help lead the team in a new direction an additional co-founder, Chuba Ezekwesili, has been added to the team.
There are two more new focus areas under the new approach – coaching and community. On the coaching side, Aboyeji said there are many questions that the average entrepreneurship course or article skips in the African context. With that in mind, the Future Africa Venture School (FAVS) will work with an experienced faculty of founders, investors, and operators from across Africa and around the world to impart practical wisdom on various issues through articles, webinars, videos, and podcasts.
“We will also host public and private virtual office hours where we will help founders navigate the many complex scenarios that arise while building a high growth startup in Africa in real-time,” Aboyeji said.