KIZITO OKECHUKWU | JULY 27, 2020
Two weeks ago, the Africa Next investor platform was launched, powered by a partnership between Digital Africa and BPI France. The initiative aims to accelerate co-investments in companies with high potential for internationalization and growth and is led by the Executive Director of Digital Africa, Stephan Eloise-Gras and Head of EuroQuity at BPI France, Gilles Le Cocguen.
Africa Next is a platform for investors and accelerators to showcase African companies with a high prospect for rapid growth and globalization, which in turn, will accelerate their fundraising efforts. It also serves to attract and expand co-investments and benefit from the experience of the investors in other markets.
The platform’s approach is to secure an exclusive deal-flow to identify co-investment opportunities; source opportunities by co-opting members; and offer a tailored service and promotion, animated by sponsors and partners.
The founding members of Africa Next include renowned marketplace investors, such as AfricInvest, GreenTec, Knife Capital, Partech Africa, Echo VC, Sawari Ventures and Lateral Capital, as well as accelerators, such as 22 on Sloane (Africa’s largest startup campus), Seedstars and Flat6Labs.
The Africa Next community has also created a digital stage on the EuroQuity platform, upon which Epitch sessions will be organized on a regular basis, via the accelerator network to pitch to European and other international investors (which will also offer participative support). These sessions will profile high-impact African startups seeking fundraising of between €1m and €10m, which will be selected by their accelerator or investor with a final review to be made by the executive committee.
During the inaugural Epitch session, three startups pitched to the founding investors – Maxicash from 22 on Sloane; GoMyCode from Flat6Labs and Poa!Internet from Seedstars.
Finance is both the lifeblood and enabler of every startup on the continent to scale and succeed. Through the prolific Africa Next investment platform, we are confident that we can take significant steps forward to create timeous and sustainable value for proven startups seeking investment. I am excited about the hugely positive prospects the platform will offer. The progress made by the Digital Africa team is inspirational and the constant progressive thinking that abounds within the organisation is palpable – the Africa Next investor platform being a prime example. I look forward to seeing this transformative programme make a positive impact on Africa’s high impact startups.
Kizito Okechukwu is the Board vice-President and interim President of Digital Africa. He is also the co-Chair of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Africa, based at 22 on Sloane, Africa’s largest startup campus.
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22 On Sloane is the largest startup campus in Africa. The campus offers disruptive startups and innovative SMEs a complete turnkey solution to scale, from the initial idea all the way to commercialisation, funding opportunities and access to markets. Its aim is to nurture the entrepreneurial mindset, ensure their sustainability, and explore development of new industries and contribute towards job creation in Africa.
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