Female-Led VC Janngo Unveils USD 66 Mn ‘Pro-Women’ Fund For African Tech Startups Addressing SDGs

By  |  January 20, 2020

Janngo, the venture builder which prides itself as Africa’s first social startup studio, has unveiled the Janngo Capital Startup Fund.

The new Janngo Capital Startup Fund is a EUR 60 Mn (USD 66.5 Mn) venture capital fund dedicated to financing tech-enabled startup accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

The fund comes with a EUR 15 Mn (USD 16.6 Mn) anchor investment from the European Investment Bank (EIB); the world’s largest multilateral financial institution and the biggest provider of climate finance.

Founded by Fatoumata BA in 2018, Janngo is focused on building, growing and investing in pan-African digital champions with proven business models and inclusive social impact.

Janngo builds digital ecosystems in high-growth sectors by providing business support and digital platforms allowing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to scale and contribute to the economic empowerment of youth and women through job creation and capacity building.

On the eve of its participation in the 50th World Economic Forum, Janngo pledged EUR 60 Mn to back technology startups with a double bottom line approach through its dedicated investment vehicle, Janngo Capital Startup Fund.

The fund is a first of its kind venture capital and Impact vehicle investing from seed through growth stage across Africa and targeting at least 50 percent of startups founded, co-founded or benefiting women.

This initiative is part of Janngo’s broader commitment to financing the SDGs in Africa, as a member of the Goalkeepers Community and the Global Future Council on the New Economic Agenda of the World Economic Forum.

In Africa, only 3 million jobs are created every year when at least 20 to 30 million jobs will be needed to absorb its fast-growing labor force in the coming years.

In this context, unlocking entrepreneurship is a critical lever to massively increase the supply of decent jobs and bridge the unemployment gap, both in the formal or informal sector.

“In 2050, we’ll be roughly 2.2 billion people in Africa, which means that we need to find new massive ways to feed, educate, house, care for and employ more than 1 billion people in less than 30 years,” explains Fatoumata BA, Executive Chair of Janngo and Managing Partner of Janngo Capital.

“We believe traditional development models have failed because they were unbalanced and unsustainable either only focusing on commercial returns or too heavily aid-based.

“Our thesis strikes the right balance between delivering solid returns to our investors while being socially accountable, solving key market failures and leveraging technology to help leapfrog development. That’s our reason for being, as Janngo means “Tomorrow” or “Future” in Fulani.”

African women are known to be the most entrepreneurial in the world with a 26 percent Total Entrepreneurial Rate in Sub-Saharan Africa where they are twice as likely to start a business than elsewhere.

Yet, there is currently a USD 42 Bn funding gap for women entrepreneurs in Africa according to the African Development Bank. Additionally, the larger the ticket size, the harder it is for women in emerging markets to get access to capital with only 10 percent of women entrepreneurs able to raise money from Series A versus 49 percent at the seed stage.

“At Janngo, we believe that talent is equally distributed between men and women but opportunities aren’t; especially in terms of access to capital. That is why we are proud to be a female-led VC fund investing 50 percent of our proceeds in startups founded, co-founded by or benefiting women” adds Fatoumata BA.

With a EUR 60 Mn investment vehicle, 100 percent dedicated to African startups achieving both economic performance and a social impact, Janngo’s commitment is paving the way for SDGs financing in the venture capital space in Africa.

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