A new force is emerging in the African startup scene! Aduna Capital, a pioneering investment firm, has just announced the launch of its first $20 million fund dedicated to transforming Africa's technology startup ecosystem.
But Aduna Capital is not just another investment fund. It's an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem founded by Surayyah Ahmad Sani and Sanusi Ismaila, both prominent figures in the African startup world.
Surayyah Ahmad Sani, an experienced entrepreneur with two founded businesses and a successful exit, brings her vast experience in nurturing startups and fostering growth. She has also invested as an angel in three startups, including the transport company Swiftride, and facilitated investments of up to $2 million in early-stage African startups.
Sanusi Ismaila, in turn, is an experienced entrepreneur and operator, founder of Colab, Kaduna state's first innovation hub and one of Nigeria's largest technology campuses. Colab is the largest source of technology talent in Northern Nigeria, with alumni spread around the world, working in renowned companies like Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Paxful, and Andela. Startups supported by Colab, such as Payant (payment solutions) and Sudo (card issuance infrastructure), are already conquering the market.
Aduna Capital focuses on discovering and nurturing early-stage tech startups across Africa, with a special focus on empowering female founders and startups in underserved regions like Northern Nigeria. The company aims to unlock the vast potential of these entrepreneurs, driving innovation and sustainable growth across the continent.
Why Northern Nigeria? With a population of over 128 million people, Northern Nigeria presents a huge untapped market. This population is four times that of Ghana and 2.5 times that of Kenya, offering a vast pool of potential customers and talent. By 2050, Nigeria is expected to become the 4th largest country in the world, with a significant portion of that growth occurring in the North. Startups in sectors such as education and agricultural technology in this region are already generating over $1.2 million in bootstrapped revenue, according to a 2023 NFC report. With proper funding and support, these startups have the potential to expand significantly, both within the continent and globally.
Empowering female founders: Aduna Capital is committed to supporting pioneering female founders, recognising their exceptional potential for high returns. Research shows that female founders return $2 for every $1 invested in them, a statistic that Aduna Capital intends to capitalise on by allocating 50% of its investments in women-led startups.
Pan-African investment focus: Aduna Capital's investment focus goes beyond Northern Nigeria. The fund will allocate 25% of its investments in startups in the rest of Nigeria and another 25% across the African continent. This pan-African approach ensures a diverse and robust portfolio, exploring a wide range of innovative ideas and businesses.
Investment strategy and returns: The fund mainly focuses on early-stage and pre-seed investments, with some seed-stage deals for diversification. Aduna Capital is seeking a 5 to 10x return for the investor, finding a balance between impact investments and profitable returns for its investors.
Aduna Capital is blowing a wind of innovation into the African startup ecosystem. With its focus on underserved regions, female empowerment, and high-impact investments, the company has the potential to catalyse economic growth and social development across the continent.
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