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New Fund Aims to Invest in African Tech Startups

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Good day. A new venture fund is looking to capitalize on Africa’s young and increasingly urban population, the continent’s fast growth in smartphone use and the lack of access to financial services.

Constant Ventures, an arm of pan-African investment banking firm Constant Capital, is targeting $100 million for a venture fund to invest in tech-enabled companies focused on fintech, health and education. The fund will focus on West Africa, primarily Nigeria and Ghana.

It plans to attract capital from family offices and institutional investors.

The firm, based in Lagos, Nigeria, expects the check sizes written from the fund to range from $500,000 to $1 million, said Ike Echeruo, managing partner for Constant Ventures. Mr. Echeruo co-founded the company alongside his brother Chinedu Echeruo, a serial entrepreneur.

Ike Echeruo said fintech startups can help Nigerians access consumer credit to make it easier to rent an apartment or buy a washing machine. “The opportunity is immense,” he added. “It’s an opportunity that is sometimes difficult for people who live in developed markets to appreciate.”

Five years ago, African startups pulled in about $420 million in investment from venture capitalists, according to PitchBook data. That number increased to more than $2.2 billion in 2021, a record-setting year for deal value and deal count for the continent

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