EXCLUSIVE: Japanese Leapfrog Ventures Launches USD 4.5 Mn Fund For Sub-Saharan Africa

By July 4, 2018

One of the highlight, this year so far, remains the massive funding coming in from Europe; USD 70 million fund launch of Partech Ventures and the USD 76 Mn commitment made recently by the French President. An unambiguous evidence enough that Europe has realised the breakout potential of Africa.

The African startups are making their case around the world, and this Japanese fund recognizes the opportunity too.

Tokyo headquartered Leapfrog Ventures has launched a USD 4.5 mn venture capital fund to invest in seed-stage startups of Eastern Africa. The fund is stationed at Kigali, Rwanda for its African operations. The Japanese VC will look to invest in the range of  USD 30-50K and will focus on Fintech, HealthTech, Logistics, Agriculture, and Energy startups.

In a conversation with WeeTracker, Takuma Terakubo, CEO of Leapfrog Ventures, said,  “We want to make seed stage investments in about a hundred startups in the next three years, and foster business alliances with Japanese companies wherever we find tech synergies.”

Along with the funding, the VC firm also has plans for incubating startup businesses.

Source: Leapfrog Ventures Inc

While the central regions where the fund will actively invest money will be centered on Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania; attention will also be given to South African startups.

However, Takuma also has a broader vision for Africa with this fund; he said, “with this move, we want to create entrepreneurs and utilize technology to solve human race issues and unite the world.”

This year’s H1 has seen significant traction in the East African country,  Kenya in terms of quantum of VC funding. Kenya, in the past six months, saw 23 startups getting funded with USD 82.86 Mn VC money.

While the corpus for the Leapfrog fund may not be in the double-digit; what it aims to solve is the small ticket, financing requirement of an early-stage startup that can flourish to become a promising problem solver.

Feature Image: Takuma Terakubo (left)

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