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Breega Launches a $75 Million Early-Stage African VC Fund

Breega Africa

Breega announced the launch of its first African fund, “Breega Africa Seed I” which aims to become the leading early-stage investor in African start-ups. 

Since closing its first fund in 2015, in just nine years, Breega has reached $700M in assets under management, invested in over 100 startups across 15 countries and opened 5 offices in the EMEA region. By pursuing a continental strategy, both in Europe and Africa, Breega is banking on the creation of local teams to fully integrate itself into regional ecosystems. 

The success of this strategy in Europe with Paris, London and Barcelona, has prompted Breega to open two new offices, in Lagos, Nigeria and Cape Town, South Africa, to manage this fund with a pan-African strategy. “Breega Africa Seed I”, endowed with $75 million, will cover several regions based on their level of technological maturity and start-up ecosystem. These include Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa and Kenya, as well as several French-speaking African countries such as Morocco, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Several of the continent’s leading start-ups have already benefited from a first investment and support from Breega’s inhouse Scaling team, including Numida, Socium, Klasha, Kwara, Coachbit and Sava.

Kolawole Olajide, CEO & co-founder of Sava, based in South Africa said, “Breega invested when we didn’t have a product yet, so their early trust was key. With the invaluable support of the Scaling Team, not only have we now reached the commercialisation phase, but we’ve also defined our internal culture and processes, and established our brand. We never thought we’d receive so much help and support from a venture capital fund.” 

By founders for founders

At the forefront of this new fund are two emblematic figures in African entrepreneurship: Melvyn Lubega, award-winning entrepreneur, business angel and co-founder of the first African digital education unicorn (Go1), and Tosin Faniro-Dada, former CEO of Endeavor in Nigeria and former Founding Executive of Lagos Innovates. Lubega will lead Breega’s activities in Eastern and Southern Africa from the Cape Town office, bringing his experience in business creation and scaling to a pool of promising founders.

Lubega noted“Today, Africa receives 1%(1) of global funding for a region which is home to 18%(2) of the population of the planet. This is a large funding gap to close across a continent at the dawn of its technological potential. Breega, an international fund for founders built by founders, has a unique role to play in bridging this gap.” 

Tosin Faniro-Dada, a pillar and a driving force behind the Nigerian ecosystem, is the Partner in charge of West and North Africa. She contributes her boundless passion and solid experience – notably as a board member of African fintech unicorn Flutterwave – to guide and support African entrepreneurs at different stages of their development. Her expertise, alongside that of the Scaling team, which provides both strategic and operational support to the fund’s investments, promises to give rise to innovation leaders on the continent. 

Tosin Faniro-Dada, Partner in the Lagos office, said, “Africa is experiencing a boom in entrepreneurship, reflecting a surge of innovation and ambition across the continent. Our entrepreneurs are driven by the ambition to find solutions to the continent’s challenges. It is truly inspiring and I’m thrilled to be able to support them thanks to the unique model we’ve developed at Breega.” 

Boosting investment in high-impact technologies on the continent

Although technological innovation is growing rapidly, with a tenfold increase in funding over the past seven years reaching $6.4 billion by 2022, early-stage funding is still insufficient. While in more mature ecosystems, like Europe, early-stage financing is approaching 0.1% of GDP. In Africa it still only represents 0.01%, highlighting a crucial ‘investment gap’ of  $2 billion in early stage African start-ups.

Ben Marrel, CEO & co-founder of Breega commented, “Start-up ecosystems work like pyramids: they are only sustainable if the base, i.e. the early stage, is well financed. It is with this impact-driven mindset that Breega is positioning itself as the first investor to back and support entrepreneurs from idea to impact.”

With this fund, Breega plans on investing checks ranging from $100k to $2M – entering as the initial investor. Drawing on its international experience and renowned expertise, Breega is dedicating this fund to high-impact and sustainable innovations that meet the Sustainable Development Goals as defined by the United Nations, by investing in pivotal sectors such as agrotech, edtech, healthtech, fintech, insurtech, proptech and logistics. 

This proven investment strategy has allowed Breega to receive the support of leading institutions including: Bpifrance and Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO and others, as well as a range of tech entrepreneurs, all of whom are convinced that African technology is a catalyst for change. To date, Breega supports over 100 promising companies across Europe and Africa.

Also Read: Nigerian Startups That Have Taken Part in Y Combinator

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