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Aduna Capital launches $20m fund to boost Africa’s technology start-ups

A venture capital fund, Aduna Capital, has announced a $20 million investment fund to support Africa, particularly in the northern region of Nigeria, where its people are primarily underserved, as part of its efforts to empower early-stage and technology-enabled start-ups.

Surayyah Ahmad Sani
Surayyah Ahmad Sani, general partner of Aduna Capital

The huge and untapped market in the region is obvious from a shocking report issued in 2021 by the National Bureau of Statistics, which claims that 128 million people dwell in northern Nigeria. This amount exceeds the combined market potential of Ghana and Kenya in terms of talent offerings and customer service performance.

By 2050, Nigeria is forecast to rise to the rank of the fourth-largest nation in the world, with the north contributing significantly to this growth. As a result, this funding will go toward supporting new businesses, especially those that emphasise innovation in both agriculture and education.

According to research undertaken by the Northern Founders Community (NFC) in 2023 to estimate the financial impact of these two sectors on Nigeria’s economy, it uncovered that start-ups in this sector have each made over $1.2 million in bootstrapped revenue across the region.

“With proper funding and support, these start-ups have the potential to scale significantly, both within the continent and globally,” says Surayyah Ahmad Sani, general partner of Aduna Capital.

This, as the 2x founder with 1 exit and founding partner of the accelerator TTLabs hinted, is why Aduna Capital was founded: to create an ecosystem that unlocks the vast potential of these entrepreneurs, increases innovation, and accelerates sustainable development across the continent.

She continued by saying that her company is committed to helping trailblasing female entrepreneurs since they have such exceptional potential for big returns. Based on a European International Bank (EIB) study from 2021, it was shown that female executives provided a return of $2 for every $1 invested in them.

“Aduna Capital aims to capitalise on these statistics by allocating 50% of its investments to female-led startups,” Sani stated in a press release issued on Monday, November 20, 2023, to formally unveil the fund.

The investment expert is confident that she will share her knowledge and experience in fostering startups and promoting growth in the IT sector, having overseen a $2 million investment for African start-ups in the angel and pre-seed stages.

In the same vein, Sanusi Ismaila, general partner of Aduna Capital, highlighted that the investment’s emphasis extends beyond Nigeria’s northern area.

The seasoned entrepreneur and operator, who also founded Colab, Kaduna State’s first innovation hub, says that 25% of the money will go to start-ups in the rest of Nigeria and another 25% will go to start-ups across Africa.

He explained that the goal of this pan-African strategy is to guarantee a broad and strong portfolio by utilising a variety of creative concepts and enterprises. It aims to achieve a 5–10x investor return, balancing profitable returns for its investors with meaningful investments.

“The objective of this investment is to achieve a 5–10x return on investment, balancing profitable returns for its investors with meaningful investments,” he said.

His organisation, Colab, is the largest single source of technical talent in northern Nigeria, with one of the country’s biggest technology campuses. Its alumni work for well-known multinational firms such as Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Paxful, Andela, Simplifa GmbH, One Acre Fund, One World Coders, Data Culture, Toptal, and Cloudflare, among others.

Ismaila promised to bring and share his unique ideas and expertise to catalyse growth in the African digital start-up industry by helping to position Aduna as a powerhouse in discovering, investing in, and fostering the continent’s next generation of tech titans.

By Etta Michael Bisong, Abuja

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