Ivory Coast VC Launches $66.2M Fund To Back Social Impact Startups

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Ivory Coast
A venture capital firm based in Ivory Coast and founded in 2018 by Fatoumata Ba has launched a $66.2 million fund for African startups. Fatoumata Ba, founder and CEO, Janngo, at the World Economic Forum – Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2019 in Dalian, People’s Republic of China, July 1, 2019. Image: Foundations World Economic Forum/Flickr

A venture capital firm based in Ivory Coast has launched a $66.2 million fund for African startups that are tackling poverty, hunger and inequality.

Janngo was founded in 2018 by Senegalese Fatoumata Ba, an investor and entrepreneur who previously worked in executive roles at New York-listed Africa-focused e-commerce firm Jumia

In 2013, Ba launched Jumia Ivory Coast supported by Africa Internet Group, growing the company from 10 employees to more than 300 in 2015 and making Jumia Ivory Coast the fastest-growing African e-commerce site with more than 500,000 monthly unique visitors, Forbes reported.

She has been rewarded with several distinctions including The World Economic Forum “Young Global Leader”, Choiseul 100 Africa “Economic Leaders of Tomorrow”, and the Forbes Africa “30 under 30”.

Janngo, which has offices in Abidjan and Paris, builds, grows and invests in pan-African tech startups that are deemed to have an inclusive social impact.

The new Janngo Capital Startup Fund was partly funded by a $16.5 million investment from the European Investment Bank, according to a Janngo statement.

The U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 objectives based on social, economic and environmental sustainability.

These were adopted by all U.N. member countries in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

Janngo claims that half of the tech startups that they plan to invest in will be focused on women entrepreneurs and consumers, according to Ventureburn.

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“At Janngo, we believe that talent is equally distributed between men and women but opportunities aren’t; especially in terms of access to capital. That is why we are proud to be a female-led VC fund investing 50 percent of our proceeds in startups founded, co-founded by or benefiting women,” Ba said in a statement.

Women entrepreneurs face multiple challenges to access finance, with an estimated $42 billion financing gap for African women across industries, according to the African Development Bank.

Individual investment checks from the Janngo Capital Startup Fund, which will be made in startups from seed through to growth stage, will range between $55,000 and $5.5 million.