Egypt's Flat6Labs launches $95m VC fund to support tech ecosystem in Africa

New fund aims to invest in more than 160 early stage tech start-ups over the next five years

A street in Lagos, Nigeria. The new VC fund aims to support tech start-ups in the West African country. Bloomberg
Powered by automated translation

Cairo-based venture capital company Flat6Labs launched a $95 million seed fund to boost early stage technology start-ups in Africa.

Headquartered in Egypt, the Africa Seed Fund (ASF) will focus on three main investment territories: North Africa, West Africa and East Africa, Flat6Labs said in a statement on Tuesday.

Through the new fund, Flat6Labs aims to extend its reach into several new countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and Senegal.

“Africa is one of the most exciting regions to invest in tech and innovation, with huge untapped potential and unique business opportunities,” said Ramez El Serafy, general partner at ASF.

“We will leverage our experience and knowledge to guide the start-up founders to create truly scalable, investment-ready, Africa-based companies.”

The fund will invest in more than 160 early stage tech start-ups over the next five years. It will focus on sectors that accelerate digital inclusion and industries that contribute to addressing social and environmental challenges, such as HealthTech, FinTech, EdTech, GreenTech, AgriTech and ClimateTech.

The influx of capital from the new fund has the potential to create more than 14,000 jobs, provide support to more than 1,200 founders, with 20 per cent female participation, and generate more than $700 million in revenue, Flat6Labs said.

The African tech ecosystem is booming, with funding for the sector increasing to $6.5 billion last year, up from $6 billionin 2021, according to the Partech 2022 Africa venture capital report.

The new fund aims to be a “catalyst for driving long-term positive change that the youth of Africa really deserve, and to providing resources to the brightest of them, while accelerating the future of the African continent”, said Dina Al Shenoufy, general partner at ASF.

“The programme is designed to provide entrepreneurs with the resources that they need to be able to grow and to scale up their businesses to new heights.”

Africa is one of the most exciting regions to invest in tech and innovation, with huge untapped potential and unique business opportunities
Ramez El Serafy, general partner at Africa Seed Fund

With ASF, Flat6Labs will be investing in companies that are in pre-seed up to pre-series A stage, with tickets ranging from $150,000 to $500,000 through the Africa seed programme.

The programme offers portfolio companies with seed funding, regional business support and access to a regional network of mentors. Two cohorts will run annually, with an average of 10 to 15 start-ups per cohort. The first investments in the selected start-ups are planned before the end of 2023.

Since its launch in 2011, Flat6Labs has been a key player in building and reshaping the entrepreneurial scene in the region.

It has invested more than $16 million in start-ups, and has raised more than $191 million in follow-on funding while creating more than 2,500 direct jobs and 80,000 indirect jobs through its first two funds in Egypt and Tunisia.

Last month, Flat6Labs announced the first close of the Start-up Seed Fund in Saudi Arabia, which is aimed at supporting entrepreneurs in the kingdom. The 75 million-Saudi riyal ($20 million) fund was created to invest in early-stage start-ups operating in the technology and innovation sectors in the kingdom.

Updated: March 15, 2023, 4:00 AM