Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures raises US$43 million for its pan-African venture fund

Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures raises US$43 million for its pan-African venture fund
Written by Techbot

Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (“VKAV”) recently raised US$43 million as part of its ongoing fundraising for its pan-African venture fund. The fund’s initial backers include institutions such as SBI Holdings, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, and individual investors such as Mr. Osamu Kaneda.

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VKAV is the first fund by Verod-Kepple Africa Partners, a joint venture between Verod Capital Management Limited (Verod Capital) and Kepple Africa Ventures.

VKAV Partner Satoshi Shinada says,  “We are convinced that there is a tremendous opportunity for technology to drive innovation and growth in Africa. We are excited to spearhead this transformation through our investment in category-defining startups, and to create a positive impact on the communities they serve.”

Launched in 2022, VKAV invests in scalable, tech-enabled, post-revenue businesses  addressing difficult challenges across various industries on the continent. VKAV’s current investments include Moove Africa (Multiple markets: smart vehicle finance for mobility entrepreneurs); NowPay (Egypt: financial wellness for employees); Koko Networks (Kenya: clean cooking technology company); Ceviant (Nigeria: treasury management and trade finance); Chari (Morocco: B2B e-commerce for FMCG); Shuttlers (Nigeria: Affordable and reliable shared mobility); Nawy (Egypt: end-to-end platform powering property transactions), Julaya (Francophone West Africa: neobank for businesses in Africa). The fund’s announcement comes on the back of a resilient 2022 in the African tech-ecosystem, where the interest in venture capital in Africa grew by 8% despite a global economic crisis.

“We are incredibly grateful for the confidence that our world-class set of investors have in our team and differentiated value creation strategy. We look forward to deepening the successful long-term partnership we have with them,” adds VKAV Partner Ory Okolloh.

Eric Idiahi, Investment Committee & Portfolio Review Committee Member at VKAV and Partner at Verod Capital commented, “Verod Capital is delighted to partner with Kepple Africa Ventures. Their formidable experience combined with Verod’s strong performance track record investing in West Africa for 15 years, plus its history of returning capital to investors, provides a solid platform to showcase a unique model for venture capital in Africa that combines investment experience with hands-on support across the board – from fundraising, to fixing operations gaps, sourcing talent and accelerating expansion.

VKAV is committed to generating outstanding returns and achieving meaningful social impact by backing entrepreneurs who are committed to solving big challenges, while serving as a catalyst to support collaborations between African startups and Japanese strategic partners to achieve superior growth and ESG best practices in the portfolio.  This commitment is strongly supported by the participation of notable/acclaimed/major LPs coming into the fund in this round, including Japan International Cooperation Agency (“JICA”) and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (“SMTB”).

VKAV portfolio companies are serving not only African customers, but also global customers. In total, they have impacted 800,000+ individuals and small businesses in nine markets, six of which are in Africa, and created more than 2,000 jobs.    

Keiichiro Nakazawa, Senior Vice President, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said “This will be our first investment in the African VC sector. We consider it as a critical step for us as a development development agency to integrate technology innovations and its fast-growing ecosystems into the broader arena of social and economic development in developing countries. We believe that VKAV is the best partner to materialize this vision, and expect to have multi-faceted collaborations with them.”

Yasushi Anashige, Exective Manager & General Manager, Impact Equity Investment Department at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (SMTB) also expressed their pleasure to be part of such a ground-breaking fund, noting, ”We are deeply impressed by the bold vision of Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures to achieve the double bottom-line of ‘harnessing economic development with growing population” and “solving various social challenges.’ Their forward-looking practice of integrating impact monitoring and management (IMM) into their investment process as well as the fact that they have two full-time Japanese venture capitalists based in Africa have also made us comfortable working with them. We believe that they will make significant successes not only in making financial returns but also bringing Japanese corporates to Africa.”

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