African tech growth fund empowers entrepreneurs
Norfund has invested in Norrsken22, a new tech fund supporting technology growth and impact across Africa. The fund raised USD 205 million in total, surpassing its target of USD 200 million.
Norrsken22 is focused on entrepreneurs developing fintech, edtech, medtech and market-enabling solutions that deliver strong returns and have a positive impact. At its inception, the fund was supported by over 30 unicorn founders.
“We are happy to contribute to the Norrsken22 Fund, a seasoned team, and an already promising portfolio with more to come,” said Mr Bernt Brun, Norfund Senior Vice President.
“Through our investment we contribute to providing capital to startups on the continent, aiding the expansion of tech ecosystems in emerging markets. This facilitates innovation, drives economic growth, and paves the way for the jobs of the future. Additionally, we facilitate technological innovations that enable developing countries to ‘leapfrog’ developed markets by adopting modern business solutions,” he said.
Since the fund’s first close, a number of high-profile institutional investors have joined the investor base such as the British International Investment (BII), International Finance Corporation (IFC), US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Standard Bank and Hannover Re.
Natalie Kolbe, Managing Partner of Norrsken22, said, “The timing of the fund ideally positions Norrsken22 to support a growing African tech tailwind. The transformative power of technology can leapfrog traditional ways of doing business, and Africa has the opportunity to lead the World with its solutions. We are excited to be partnering with so many promising startups that can have a positive impact across Africa. We are delighted to see an active and growing early-stage investor community growing across the continent, however we still see a gap at growth stage tech funding in the continent. We see a huge opportunity here and are excited to continue investing at this stage.”
Norrsken22 has already made five investments. The portfolio includes South African challenger bank Tyme Bank, African business-to-business digital commerce platform Sabi, Africa’s leading identity verification solution, Smile ID and auto financing platform Autochek.
For more information on Norfund visit www.norfund.no