The largest Pan-African network, with 158 Innovation and Tech Hubs in 45 countries in the continent, AfriLabs, has partnered with the four-year-old nonprofit association and promoter of angel investing, African Business Angels Network (ABAN), to launch the, co-investment, Catalyst Initiative expected to increase the visibility of impact on the African startups.
Expected to increase the pool of available capital for promising entrepreneurs, the co-investment fund, which links angel investments to companies, will focus on the growth-stage companies.
According to a press release from the partners, Catalyst operates by raising funds from different institutional partners to add to a pool which serves as a matching fund which is expected to encourage investment in viable startups. The first fund is to be made available towards the end of 2019.
Speaking on the partnership, the President of ABAN, Tomi Davies said, “When we signed the MOU with AfriLabs at their Annual Gathering in Dar es Salam in 2018, we were excited about the opportunity for partnership between Angels and Hubs on the continent. Catalyst will facilitate the development of those relationships as the first initiative of what we expect to be a highly valuable and long-lasting collaboration between AfriLabs and ABAN.”
Sharing the stride she expects Catalyst to gain, the Board Chair of AfriLabs, Rebecca Enochong said, ‘‘We have all recognized the need to increase early-stage funding for our African founders. Catalyst not only does that, but it helps to structure the ecosystem, supports collaboration, and provides actionable insights into the early-stage funding landscape, all the while strengthening our hubs and our angel networks. As the first Pan African program of this type, developed by Africans, for Africans, I believe that Catalyst will be a real game-changer’’
This partnership will definitely make investments from Angel Investors from ABAN easier accessible for growth-stage enterprises which would be easily discoverable from the AfriLabs Hubs. Both parties of the partnership would have a role to play with the entrepreneurs of the continent gaining more funding opportunities.
The performance of the participating startups, after receiving investments, will be reported and monitored via the Catalyst platform.