MENA VC Flat6Labs’ new fund to back startups in East, West Africa

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Flat6Labs is amongst probably the most energetic VCs in Africa, having invested in over 100 startups thus far, throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area. And now, after 11 years, the Egypt-based seed-stage accelerator is setting out on a foray into East and West Africa via a $95 million Africa Seed Fund funding car that can mark its first enterprise outdoors MENA.

“We’re embarking on a new phase for the organization by expanding into sub-Saharan Africa through Africa Seed Fund,” the agency’s CEO Ramez El-Serafy told TechCrunch, including that the growth might be gradual, with two-thirds of its allocations nonetheless going to enterprises in North Africa. Flat6Labs is eyeing an preliminary shut before the year ends.

“We are adding Kenya and its neighboring markets in East Africa, and the Anglophone and francophone sides of West Africa, including Nigeria, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroon,” said El-Serafy.

Flat6Labs has beforehand administered country-specific funds, together with a $10 million Anava Seed Fund for Tunisian startups, and it’s only now that it’s operating a fund for startups in a number of international locations.

“With markets across the region maturing a little bit, it makes sense that we start looking at cohesive regions in terms of the average purchasing power, and opportunities — the products that you see being created in these markets are very similar and easy to take from one country to the next,” said Flat6Labs CIO Dina El-Shenoufy.

Flat6Labs $95 million Africa Seed Fund is sector agnostic

The fund is sector agnostic and plans to take a position in fintechs, healthtech, logistics, mobility, cleantech, agtech, retail and e-commerce startups.

Flat6Labs plans to take a position between $150,000 and $400,000, and make follow-on investments of as much as $500,000 to make sure continued assist for the startups. It invested between $30,000 to $100,000 in earlier funds.

“We provide the capital, but there’s a huge value in terms of how we work with the company because of how we position ourselves as an institutional co-founder of the company by helping them set up the company, register it, and provide access to our networks. We are one of the few players in North Africa that is expanding south in Africa, so this is also something that also adds a lot of value when it comes to our geographic exposure,” said El-Serafy.

El-Shenoufy added that: “About 60 percent of the checks will probably be checks that happen alongside the program whereas the rest will be straight checks for more mature founders.”

The cohort, he says, will have founders from totally different areas, creating an opportunity for people from totally different cultures, and backgrounds to work together, share concepts, work collectively, and achieve the opportunity to entry new markets. Flat6Labs will admit 10 to fifteen startups each six months in its seed program. The accelerator plans to back as much as 170 startups over the following 5 years.

Flat6Labs, which claims to have $100 million in property under administration, was based in Egypt, and has over the years deployed a number of country-specific funds, and accelerator packages with companions in seven international locations together with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Lebanon.

Some of its companions in earlier funds embrace the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the MSME Development Agency, Egypt Ventures and the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund.

With the brand new program, the accelerator hopes to be a part of the assist that startups throughout Africa want, particularly in the wake of a troublesome fundraising atmosphere.

“We’re very excited about Africa, it is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. It is very unique in terms of its young population, and the need for technology to resolve many of the challenges that we face on the continent. It makes a lot of sense for us also as an organization to be expanding south,” said El-Serafy.

“We also know emerging markets very well. I’ve been working in the Middle East for the last 11 years investing in founders in the middle of revolutions like the Arab Spring.It’s amazing to work with all these founders and support them during these times,” he said.

Seed-stage accelerator Flat6Labs closes $13.2M fund for startups in Egypt

MENA VC Flat6Labs’ new fund to back startups in East, West Africa by Annie Njanja initially revealed on TechCrunch