10 Silicon valley venture firms that invest in African startups
10 Silicon valley venture firms that invest in African startups

In our previous story, we established that most investments in Nigerian startups came from foreign investors. But how many of those Venture Capital firms are from Silicon Valley?

Reports have it that Silicon Valley investors show interest in African startups that are not African. According to Briter Bridges 2020 Africa Investment report, African startups headquartered in the US received $471.8 million of the total funding.

Why is this so? We will explain in our next story. However, we are highlighting 10 Silicon Valley VC firms and their African portfolio companies.

10 Silicon Valley venture firms that invest in Africa

The Silicon Valley firms are: YCombinator, SunFunder, Flourish Ventures, Tiger Global, Pioneer Fund, Susa Ventures, Learn Capital, Khosla Ventures, Accenture Ventures, and Owl Ventures.

1. YCombinator

Founded in 2005 by Michael Seibel, YCombinator is a Silicon Valley-based accelerator that provides seed funding for startups.

10 Silicon valley venture firms that invest in African startups
Michael Seibel, founder, YCombinator

Twice a year, the accelerator invests $125,000 in startups for a 7% equity. Since its inception, YC has invested in over 2500 companies and 51 of them are African.

Some of their African portfolio companies include; Avion, Bamboo, Breadfast, Blueloop-Flux, Buycoins, Cowrywise, CredPal, Crowdforce, Dayra, Djamo, Flextock, Flutterwave, Globe, Healthline, Helium Health, Lynks, Kobo360, Kidato, Kudi, MarketForce, Mono, NALA, NUMI, OMG Digital, Oolu, Passerine Aircraft, Paystack, PetaSales, Prospa, Ramani, Releaf, Reliance Health, Saida, Sakneen, SEND, Sendbox, Schoolable, Swipe, Termii, Thndr, Thrive Agric, Tizeti, Trella, Tress, Vendease, Wallets, WaystoCap, WorkPay, Yassir, and 54gene.

2. SunFunder

Founded in 2012 by Ryan Levinson, SunFunder is a platform that provides debt funding for solar-focused startups.

10 Silicon valley venture firms that invest in African startups
Ryan Levinson, founder, SunFunder

The platform collaborates with investors around the world to raise funds for solar energy projects. They offer debt financing from $250,000 to over $5million to solar startups in emerging and frontier markets.

Some of their African portfolio companies include; Daystar Power, InspiraFarms, Peg Africa, PowerGen Renewable Energy, SolarNow, and, SolarWorks.

3. Flourish Ventures

Flourish Ventures aims to help create financial fairness and opportunity.

Founded by former eBay founder, Pierre Omidyar in 2019, the firm invests in startups that leverage technology to build a customer-centric financial sector.

10 Silicon valley venture firms that invest in African startups
Pierre Omidyar, founder, Flourish Ventures

Their investment theme includes; challenger banks, consumer and SME lending, debt management/personal finance, monetary digitization, and insurtech.

Some of their African portfolio companies include; FairMoney, Flutterwave, FSI (Financial Services Innovators), MaxAB, Seedspace Dar El Salaam, and Paga.

4. Tiger Global

Tiger Global is an investment firm that invests in startups focused on the global internet, software, consumer, and fintech sectors.

10 Silicon valley venture firms that invest in African startups
Chase Coleman III, founder Tiger Global

Founded in 2011 by Chase Coleman III, the firm invests in public and private companies.

Tiger Global’s African portfolio companies include; Flutterwave, IRokotv, IRokotv Partner, Takealot.com, and Yuppiechef.

5. Pioneer Fund

Pioneer Fund is a fund of 200+ YC alumni. The firm aims to invest in top YC startups. Asides from connecting startups to potential investors and customers, the firm also provides them with strategic advice and guidance.

10 Silicon valley venture firms that invest in African startups
Jason Gary, founder, Pioneer Funds

Pioneer Funds was founded in 2016 with Jason Gary as one of its founders. Since its inception, Pioneer Fund has raised over $1 billion in aggregate funding and achieved over $7 billion in market valuation.

Some the African companies in its portfolio are Breadfast and 54gene

6. Susa Ventures

Susa Ventures is an early-stage technology fund. The firm invests in startups with channels like; proprietary data and network effects.

10 Silicon valley venture firms that invest in African startups
Seth Berman, founder, Susa Ventures

It was founded in 2013 by Seth Berman.

Susa Ventures African portfolio companies include; Andela and Okra.

7. Learn Capital

Learn Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in edtech startups. The platform provides early, seed, and late-stage funding to startups.

10 Silicon valley venture firms that invest in African startups
Greg Mauro, founder, Learn capital

The firm was founded in 2008 by Greg Mauro.

One of their African portfolio company is Andela.

8. Khosla Ventures

Khosla ventures is an early-stage-focused venture firm. It was founded in 2004 by Vinod Khosla.

10 Silicon valley venture firms that invest in African startups
Viond Khosla, founder, Khosla Ventures

The firm invests in startups in the internet, computing, mobile, silicon technology, biotechnology, healthcare, and clean technology sectors.

Kudi is the African company in its portfolio.

9. Accenture ventures

Accenture Ventures is the capital arm of the consulting firm Accenture. It invests in growth-stage startups that operate in AI, security, big data and analytics, blockchain, and workforce sector.

Founded in 2015 by Clarence DeLany, the firm has made 33 investments with up to 21 companies in its portfolio.

Okra is the only African company in its portfolio.

10. Owl Ventures

Founded in 2014 by Tory Patterson, Owl ventures is the largest edtech VC fund. The firm boasts of over $1.3 billion in assets.

10 Silicon valley venture firms that invest in African startups
Tory Patterson, founder, Owl Ventures

Owl Ventures invests in edtech companies across all funding and learning stages.

It has uLesson under its African portfolio companies.

Venture Firm African Portfolio Company
Ycombinator Avion, Bamboo, Breadfast, Blueloop-Flux, Buycoins, Cowrywise, CredPal, Crowdforce, Dayra, Djamo, Flextock, Flutterwave, Globe, Healthline, Helium Health, Lynks, Kobo360, Kidato, Kudi, MarketForce, Mono, NALA, NUMI, OMG Digital, Oolu, Passerine Aircraft, Paystack, PetaSales, Prospa, Ramani, Releaf, Reliance Health, Saida, Sakneen, SEND, Sendbox, Schoolable, Swipe, Termii, Thndr, Thrive Agric, Tizeti, Trella, Tress, Vendease, Wallets, WaystoCap, WorkPay, Yassir, and 54gene.
SunFunder Daystar Power, InspiraFarms, Peg Africa, PowerGen Renewable Energy, SolarNow, and, SolarWorks.
Flourish Ventures FairMoney, Flutterwave, FSI (Financial Services Innovators), MaxAB, Seedspace Dar El Salaam, and Paga.
Tiger Global Flutterwave, IRokotv, IRokotv Partner, Takealot.com, and Yuppiechef.
Pioneer Fund Breadfast and 54gene
Susa Ventures Andela and Okra.
Learn Capital Andela
Khosla Ventures Kudi
Accenture ventures Okra
Owl Ventures uLesson

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Author: Marvisclara Kamalu

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