With the first close of $20 million, the Swiss-based Seedstars has opened the doors to its second emerging market seed stage fund.
Over 90 emerging market venture ecosystems have received help from Seedstars since 2013, and its inaugural investment fund, Seedstars International Ventures, sponsored 81 businesses in over 30 countries, including Omnibiz in Nigeria.
Prominent investors such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Visa Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Symbiotics support the Seedstars International Ventures II fund.
With follow-on investments up to Series A, investments will be focused on businesses developing for the future of finance, business, health, work, and education.
A mixed finance component with a first-loss tranche is also included in the fund, providing downside protection for investments in low-income economies.
“I have no doubts about the market prospects or the availability of creative founders, but the challenges cannot be disregarded. Through our nation’s diversity, portfolio construction method, value generation platform, or blended finance structure, our strategy innovates on multiple levels to reduce risk. To build on the success of the first fund and level the playing field for tech entrepreneurs worldwide, we have a special formula, an amazing team, and supporters in place said Seedstars partner Charlie Graham-Brown.
A Value Creation Platform has also been created by Seedstars to aid portfolio companies in accelerating their growth.
The Growth Track, a three-month mentor-led sprint where portfolio companies are provided with the tools and operating procedures to manage a professional growth team, is the foundational element of the Value Creation Platform.
Additionally, the platform gives businesses access to a sizable network of 1,300 mentors, assistance with funding, a network of peers, and several other advantages.
In the next three years, Seedstars wants to invest in 100 pre-seed and seed stage startups throughout Asia, Africa, the MENA, and LATAM, having already raised $20 million of its $30 million target.