Pan-African seed VC firm, P1 Ventures has closed the first $25 million of its second $50 million fund. The fund will support startups working in the SaaS, AI, fintech, insurance, and health sectors.
P1 Ventures, established in 2020 by Mikael Hajjar and Hisham Halbouny, presents itself as a high-conviction investor that intentionally focuses on a small number of exceptional African founders and companies building transformational software businesses with regional and global potential.
Noureddine Tayebi co-founder and CEO of Yassir, speaking on P1 Ventures’s latest raise noted that the firm was one of the most hands-on seed investors Yassir had. According to the CEO, P1 helped his firm source GM candidates to expand, recruit a strategy lead from Lyft, introduced it to Emil Michael, the former Chief Business Officer at Uber, and most importantly reinvested in every single round, including its last Series B.
According to Hajjar, P1 Ventures is motivated to deviate from the norm and support the underdogs because it comes from a relatively small economy. He asserted that the VC adores entrepreneurial African founders who develop goods and services for regional, if not global, users.
Hajjar also spoke on the opportunity that AI presents to Africa and the role it plays in the region’s advancement.
“We believe that AI will be Africa’s next big leapfrog opportunity. So when you think about how fintech transformed the continent and allowed it to disrupt the banking sector, we believe AI will do the same with sectors like retail, healthcare, and the creative economy.
“What we see as beautiful in AI is the ability to export. As you know, single market and currency risk are the main risks in investing in Africa. The beauty of AI is that you have export-first businesses,” according to Hajjar.
While AI presents a big opportunity for the continent, savvy investors may also leverage technology to speed the distribution and potential of venture capital. P1 Ventures is integrating AI into its process to find projects and bolster its investing team, enabling the company to expand its reach in a location where data and information are notoriously hard to come by.
Bernard Dalle, a senior advisory committee member, concluded that with innovation booming across the African continent, P1 is ideally positioned to help African entrepreneurs at the earliest stages build a valuable and enduring business.