Seedstars Capital and Fondation Botnar have announced plans to invest $20 million in early-stage, purpose-driven companies aiming to improve the wellbeing of young people in low- and middle-income countries across the continent.
Seedstars Capital and the Fondation Botnar, a Swiss philanthropic foundation will do the investments through their new venture vehicle dubbed the Seedstars Youth Wellbeing Ventures with a strong focus on companies active in, or expanding to Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, and Egypt.
“Our partnership with Fondation Botnar will combine our strengths and resources to drive meaningful impact in emerging markets,” said Benjamin Langer, Partner at Seedstars Capital. “Together and with the added strength of our co-investor network, we will identify, invest and scale innovative companies with the potential to transform the lives of young people across our key markets.”
The mandate will target pre-seed to Series A companies in sectors such as health services, environmental sustainability, local food security, water and sanitation, waste management, digital technologies, quality education, access to employment, financial services, safe transportation, and affordable housing.
Seedstars Youth Wellbeing Ventures will act as a catalyst for additional capital into the continent and is expected to co-invest alongside like-minded investors. Investments will be made across Africa,
Antoine Veyrassat, Venture Philanthropy Lead at Fondation Botnar said, “Fondation Botnar is excited to join Seedstars in supporting companies that are making a difference. Our shared commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of young people aligns strongly with our investment strategy that takes a market-based approach to philanthropy in addition to our other philanthropic funding, especially as rapid urbanization and the increasing number of young people living in cities present both unique challenges and opportunities.”
The partnership between Seedstars and Fondation Botnar has already begun making strides in Africa, with one of their first joint investments being Chargel, a Senegal-based logistics technology company. The venture, which uses technology to streamline operations in the fragmented logistics sector, has successfully raised $2.5 million in seed funding. This move exemplifies the partners’ commitment to backing companies that contribute to youth wellbeing by improving the working conditions of young Senegalese truck drivers.
Former Lateral Frontiers Capital and Global Ventures executive Cyrine Ben Fadhel is joining Seedstars as an Investment Manager to help identify and scale innovative companies across the African continent.