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Africa’s leading venture capitalists

Africa is among the world’s most rapidly growing economic regions and the aspect of venture capitalism that is rife in the West and Asia is quickly taking root on the continent. A lot of venture capital firms are putting in top dollar to help grow various sectors, particularly the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are showing immense growth potential. Here are some of the top firms with huge investments in Africa, according to Answers Africa, a portal that highlights interesting information about the continent

1. GOLD VENTURE CAPITAL

Gold Venture Capital Ltd or GVCL is one of the most successful venture capitalists in Africa. It is a public liability firm incorporated under the laws of Ghana and owned by Venture Capitals Trust Fund and Gold Coast Securities Ltd. The company is under the management of Boulders Advisory Ltd which is a licensed advisory firm.

The company specialises in providing seed capital to agribusiness, education, extraction industries, financial services, manufacturing and industrials, healthcare, telecommunications, real estate and construction, tourism and hospitality sectors in West African countries.

2. FUSION CAPITAL

The venture capitalist is part of Fusion Group of businesses based in London, UK. The firm is a hybrid business financing and private equity house that focuses on the needs of local businesses in the emerging economies of the East and Central Africa region.

Fusion Capital operates from Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kigali and Kampala but serves SMEs in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. The company focuses on service businesses, real estate developments and manufacturing sectors.

3. eVENTURES AFRICA FUND

eVentures Africa Fund (Eva Fund) is a venture capitalist started in 2010 by two business magnates; Brian Hirman and Vincent Kouwenhoven from Netherlands. The firm targets small and medium sized African companies dealing with Internet Service provision.

The company does not just provide capital, it also offers development support including experience, knowledge and network as well as business concepts or applications. The region targeted by eVA Fund is sub-Saharan Africa.

4. MATAMBA ANANOKA TECHNOLOGY HOLDINGS

The organisation known simply as MATHs is the first ever technology focused Venture Capital Company in Zimbabwe. It was initiated in 2010 as a joint venture between Bridge-Connect of Germany and Rutland Consultants of Zimbabwe.

Its main objective is to take early advantage and invest in the Zimbabwean pre-emerging and emerging technology sector. The company sees opportunity in Zimbabwe despite what people believe is investor unfriendly government policies.

5. JACANA PARTNERS

This pan-African private equity firm invests in emerging entrepreneurs, builds on successful SMEs and delivers sustainable financial and social returns.

Jacana country coverage started in Kenya but has since expanded to include five more countries of Tanzania, Liberia, Ghana, Uganda and Sierra Leone. Their broader mission in the long term is to cover the entire sub-Saharan Africa.

6. ADLEVO CAPITAL

The Mauritius-based venture capitalist in Africa was founded on the belief that significant development of sub-Saharan Africa can only be driven by application of technology into business processes across all sectors of the economies.

This is why the company deals solely with development and exploitation of technology- driven processes in sub-Saharan Africa.

7. SAWARI VENTURES

This is a global venture capital firm that targets entrepreneurs in North Africa and Middle East. The firm focuses primarily on early as well as growth stage investment in technology-operated media start-ups, e-commerce, telecommunications and financial services.

The company also specialises in Arabic website contents, applications, mobile device contents and applications, the so-called Software as a service (SaaS), a cloud-based software solution, and converged services.

8. INVESTMENT AB KINNEVIK

Although based in Sweden, the company has up to seven per cent investment in Africa, which according to its management is higher than its North American and Asian stakes put together.

Investment AB Kinnevik has equity in Millicom (operating in 13 emerging markets including Africa), and Tele 2 (a major European telecommunications operator). Among its African investments is Iroko partners, a Nigerian media and entertainment firm.

9. INTEL CAPITAL

This is a relatively new entrant into the African market. Intel Capital has tech co-investment with Adlevo (the Mauritius-based venture capital company) and the Ghana–based Rancard Solutions (a technology firm dealing with mobile subscriber services). Ghana is the second country in Africa that Intel Capital has invested in. The company has also invested in Altech Technologies Ltd.

10. AFRICA MEDIA VENTURES FUND

The venture capitalist mobilises finances and experience from the Netherlands to invest in emerging entrepreneurs in the media sector and SME media companies.

The company’s capital investment ranges from $20,000 –$200,000 (Sh2.2 million-Sh22million). Africa Media Ventures Fund targets all countries south of the Sahara save for South Africa. Currently, the country has more activity in Kenya and Ghana but looks forward to expanding their coverage in the future.

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