Village Capital and Schooner Africa Fund have launched the Africa Investment Marketplace to invest between $100K and $500K into early stage agritech startups in East Africa, a move aimed at tackling the disconnect in the region’s between early-stage ventures looking for capital, and investors looking for deal flow.
“We are providing due diligence, transaction advisory, investor matching and deal syndication services for 8 agribusinesses from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Sudan, selected from Schooner’s and Village Capital’s portfolios and training programs. By addressing the challenge of robust deal flow and investment readiness, Schooner Africa Fund and Village Capital intend to unlock $2M in investments with direct impact on the wealth and livelihoods of smallholder farmers,” said Cynthia Ryan, Managing Director, Schooner Capital.
The eight companies, which all have offices in Nairobi include Esoko, FarmDrive, Futurepump, Herdy Limited, Honey Care, iProcure, Ojay Greene and Wanda Organic.
The Africa Investment Marketplace will bring a curated deal flow for scalable, early stage companies with innovative business models and invest between $100K and $500K into these startups. The two will over the next few months bring together investors to review deals and consider syndication options to help the startups scale to serve more people in the region, and bridge the pioneer gap in East Africa.
According to Ross Baird, CEO of Village Capital, “Entrepreneurs across Africa have businesses that are dying on the vine because investors are moving far too slowly-or not at all. And investing is a confusing and difficult experience for folks who want to put money to work in Africa’s thriving agribusiness sector. If we are going to feed the world and mitigate climate change, African agriculture entrepreneurs will lead the way. The African Investment Marketplace will get the right investment capital to the most promising companies, closing the Pioneer Gap for the continent’s best founders.”
Baird says that with millions of smallholder farmers in East Africa and the growing population, this sector is critical to economic growth and wealth creation. But investment in the agricultural sector has been slow, owing to challenges of market access, climate change, and mismatched returns expectations.
“Our companies are reducing post-harvest loss, building supply chains, and adding value. We know they are investable and can scale, with the help of our curated deal making,” said Baird.