The Gateway to Africa's Startup Ecosystem
The Gateway to Africa's Startup Ecosystem

10 Investors Fueling Growth in the African Early-Stage Startup Scene

Despite the slowdown in funding and uncertainty that dominated H2 2022, 144 startups announced their first $1m+ deal funding in 2022, compared to 110 in 2021. Therefore, it is safe to say the African early-stage scene was relatively unaffected.

The following is a list of venture capital firms and accelerators that have been particularly active in recent years in investing in African early-stage startups. For founders interested in applying for funding, we also included links to their application pages or contact forms.

Y Combinator

Y Combinator is a seed accelerator in the United States that was founded in March 2005. The firm is regarded as one of the world’s most powerful start-up incubators, having made numerous notable investments in companies such as Airbnb, Reddit, and Dropbox. The accelerator has been an early-stage investor in the region, with investments in Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, and even nascent ecosystems like Senegal.

Type: Accelerator

Focus: Global

HQ: California, USA

Ticket size: $500,000

Portfolio: Paystack, Kobo360, Wave, Reliance Health, etc.

Application form/contact:

LoftyInc Capital Management

LoftyInc Capital Management is a venture capital firm focused on Africa. LoftyInc Capital Management makes early-stage investments in tech-enabled startups in Africa and the diaspora.

Type: VC

Focus: Early stage

HQ: Lagos, Nigeria

Ticket size: $50,000 to $250,000

Portfolio: Orda, Cutstruct, SecondSTAX, etc.

Application form/contact:

4DX Ventures

4DX Ventures is an early stage venture firm based in Ghana that focuses on Africa. They collaborate with world-class entrepreneurs to build transformative businesses by leveraging technology. Approximately 70% of 4DX Ventures’ investments have been concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Type: VC

Focus: Pan-African

HQ: Accra, Ghana

Ticket size: $100,000 to a few millions

Portfolio: Wasoko, MoneyFellows, MaxAB, etc.

Application form/contact:

500 Global

500 Global is a venture capital firm that manages $2.7 billion in assets and invests early in founders who are building fast-growing technology companies. They concentrate their efforts in markets where technology, innovation, and capital can create long-term value and drive economic growth. The venture capital firm collaborates closely with key stakeholders and advises governments and corporations on how to best support entrepreneurial ecosystems in order for startups to thrive.

Type: VC

Focus: Consumer and SMB internet startups, and related web infrastructure services.

HQ: California, USA

Ticket size: $60,000

Portfolio: Chipper Cash, Aella Credit, El-Dokan, Homzmart, etc.

Application form/contact:


Flat6Labs is the MENA region’s leading seed and early stage venture capital firm, currently running the region’s most well-known startup programs. Flat6Labs invests in over 100 innovative and technology-driven startups each year, enabling thousands of passionate entrepreneurs to realize their wildest dreams and eventually become institutional co-founders.

Type: VC

Focus: MENA

HQ: Cairo, Egypt

Ticket size: $50,000 to $500,000

Portfolio: Instabug, Dabchy, Agri Watch, etc.

Application form/contact:

Quona Capital

Quona Capital invests in fintech innovators who are working to increase inclusion in emerging markets. Seven African startups are in the portfolio of the DC-based firm, which has a total fund size of $203 million.

Type: VC

Focus: Fintech, Emerging markets

HQ: Washington DC, USA

Ticket size: $5 million to $6 million

Portfolio: Cowrywise, Wasoko, Yoco, Capiter, etc.

Application form/contact:

Launch Africa

Launch Africa Ventures is a pioneer Pan-African fund that fills a significant funding gap in Africa’s seed to series A bridge funding investment landscape.

Type: VC

Focus: Pan-African

HQ: Mauritius

Ticket size: $200,000 to $300,000

Portfolio: Kwara, Releaf, Ollie Health, etc.

Application form/contact: Launch Africa Funding Application

Ventures Platform

Ventures Platform invests in startups from pre-seed to series A. Despite investing in a variety of sectors, the firm is particularly interested in startups in financial services and insurance, life science and health tech, edtech and digital talent accelerators, enterprise SaaS, digital infrastructure plays, agritech, and food security.

Type: Incubator

Focus: Sector agnostic

HQ: Abuja, Nigeria

Ticket size: $50,000 in pre-seed and seed startups

Portfolio: Shekel Mobility, Union54, etc.

Application form/contact: Ventures Platform Funding Application

DFS Labs

DFS is a venture capital firm that invests in digital commerce companies that serve African markets. DFS Labs works with its portfolio companies for four to six months after the pre-seed round to develop a growth strategy that will lead to the company’s next round of financing.

Type: VC

Focus: Digital commerce companies

HQ: Accra, Ghana

Ticket size: $25,000 in pre-seed

Portfolio: Bumpa, TopUp Mama, Orda, Pezesha

Application form/contact:

Future Africa

Future Africa connects investors with mission-driven startups that are transforming Africa’s most difficult challenges into global business opportunities, while also providing capital, coaching, and a community to innovators.

Type: VC

Focus: Pan-african, Sector-agnostic

HQ: Lagos, Nigeria

Ticket size: Up to $50,000

Portfolio: Nexford, Kwara, Moove, etc.

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