Nigeria’s venture capital firm, EchoVC, has launched its latest initiative, the EchoVC Eco Pilot Fund I, a pre-seed fund focusing on startups in climate, mobility, energy, and agriculture.
Managing Partner Eghosa Omoigui noted the fund’s goal of providing startups with their initial institutional funding and assisting in subsequent fundraising efforts.
“We want to sponsor a pipeline of high-quality founders that create high-quality companies that can be supported later by the increasing number of climate and energy-focused funds,” said Eghosa Omoigui.
The launch of this pilot fund comes in response to the growing trend of VC firms establishing funds dedicated to Africa’s climate sector. EchoVC joins the ranks of those addressing the dearth of early-stage funding for climate-focused startups in the region.
EchoVC has a history of investments in mobility, agriculture, climate, and energy startups, including notable names like Shuttlers and Complete Farmer. The Eco Pilot Fund I, totalling $2.5 million, represents the culmination of over a year of study and aims to fill the gap in supporting pre-seed stage companies essential for creating climate-resilient economies.
“The continent needs these pre-seed stage companies to create and deploy the solutions necessary to meet market demand and enable climate-resilient economies,” explained Taiwo Kamson, Principal at EchoVC.
The Eco Pilot Fund I intends to invest in up to ten startups at the pre-seed stage. Its primary focus includes startups providing access to finance, insurance, and markets for smallholder farmers in Africa. Additionally, renewable energy solutions and innovative approaches to urban transportation will be considered. While the fund has an African mandate, the majority of investments are expected to go to startups from Kenya and Nigeria.
EchoVC’s mission to support under-represented founders aligns with its mission of being the Sequoia Capital for underestimated founders and markets. The firm remains sector-agnostic and operates from offices in Africa, the US, and the UK.
The EchoVC team, boasting over 80 years of combined experience, actively supports the portfolio it has built over the last decade. The newly launched fund, along with the ongoing development of the Center of Excellence project, points to EchoVC’s zeal for fostering innovation and sustainability in the technology sector.
As EchoVC forges ahead with its mission, it anticipates that the lessons learned from the Eco Pilot Fund I will inform investments from its larger 2024 Eco Fund, scheduled for unveiling in the coming years.
EchoVC’s contribution to the tech ecosystem is reflected in its impressive investment statistics: 36 companies, 2,000+ employees in portfolio companies, $41 million+ deployed, and operations across 12 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil, India, and the United States.