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Investing in African Startups

Early-stage venture capital firm Microtraction, which invests in African tech startups at the pre-seed stage, has announced a US$15 million first close of its second fund, counting a number of established African tech startup founders among its LPs. Founded by Yele Bademosi and Kwamena Afful in 2017, with initial backing from PAVE Investments, Michael Seibel, Andy Volk, and Chris Shultz, Microtraction has invested in 36 companies comprising 83 founders in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Rwanda. Portfolio companies include Accounteer, Riby, Thank U Cash, CowryWise,, Schoolable, 54gene, Termii, Pivo, Bit Sika and Raise, with these companies between them having raised more than US$10 million in follow-on funding. For its second fund, the Community Fund, Microtraction said it had “carefully and intentionally” sought out founders, GPs, and LPs that comprise its investor base. A first cloe of US$15 million has now been achieved, with LPs including The LPs in this community fund include more than 30 venture-backed founders of African companies, like Paystack’s Shola Akinlade, Cowrywise’s Razaq Ahmed, 54gene’s Francis Osifo, Piggyvest’s Odun Eweniyi, and Float’s Jesse Ghansah. The fund will write first cheques of US$100,000 for seven per cent into early-stage African companies across different sectors and regions in Africa with an option for a quick top-up of up to US$350,000, as long as Microtraction does not account for more than 25 per cent of the company’s next official fundraising round.