Sherpa Ventures Launches $1m Pre-Seed Fund for African Startups

VC firm Sherpa Ventures has made an announcement of the launch of its debut fund which it is dedicating to pre-seed tech startups in Africa.

The Fund which is backed by several notable founders and angels across the globe has already made its first investments.

Sherpa Ventures was founded by startup investment veteran Aaron Fu, ex-Uber Africa launcher Alastair Curtis and ex-IROKO executive Nikhil Patel and its main focus is to invest in early-stage tech and tech-enabled startups on the continent of Africa

Sherpa’s US$1 million Basecamp Fund has planned to invest US$25,000-US$50,000 in startups that are seeking to raise less than US$500,000. The Fund would work with these companies for between six-to-nine months before deciding to follow-on with more substantial capital. 

The Sherpa team, would be be working with a community of investors which includes the likes of Grant Brooke, co-founder for Twiga Foods, as well as investors Emilian Popa and Lexi Novitske. The outfit will work with founders to strengthen and scale their startups by injecting capital and extensive local experience and know-how.

Fund founder, Aaron Fu has described the venture as being more than just a fund.

“We are a supportive and collaborative community – a community of capital, expertise and experience who have built and operated some of the strongest startups on the continent and across the world. We can’t wait to partner with extraordinary teams in the region, to realise the power of one generation of startup operators in Africa investing in and sprinting alongside the next generation,” he said.

Sherpa Ventures has already made two investments – the first being in Nigeria’s OnePipe, a unified platform that aggregates APIs for financial services and large institutions, and Ghana’s Boost, an asset light retail distribution and working capital platform focused on MSMEs.

The CEO and co-founder for Boost, Mike Quinn, says that his company is launching both in Ghana and South Africa, adding that Sherpa had been one of its first believers and backers even at a stage where they have very little to show. 

“They brought other investors to the table, and have been helping us design country entry strategies and develop a stronger hiring framework,” he disclosed.

Alaistar Curtis on the other hand said companies like Boost and OnePipe were in the process of building scalable but grounded businesses, and also catalysing sustainable growth within their ecosystems.

“These audacious entrepreneurs are driving the next wave of economic inclusion and growth in Africa,” he said.

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Random African

Random African loves writing about the African continent. He is consistently in touch with happenings in every part of the continent and derives joy from providing fresh and crisp information for his audience.

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