Sweden’s Norrsken opens East Africa startup fund and hub in Rwanda

RWANDA – Norrsken Foundation, a co-working space and investment fund based in Sweden, has opened its tech fund and entrepreneurship hub in Kigali Rwanda to support ventures across the region.

The Kigali center is Norrsken’s first launch outside of Sweden and the organization looks to open in 25 markets globally over the next decade.

According to report byTechCrunch, the hub will begin with seed investments of US$25K to US$100K for early stage startups in all sectors starting this year.

The groups chief executive, Erik Engellau-Nilsson, said that the fund size is still being determined adding that Norrsken Kigali will extend the fund to larger series-stage investments from US$100K to US$1 million in the future.

The Swedish foundation’s move into Rwanda is strongly connected to the organization’s focus on the power of tech entrepreneurs to solve problems and generate capacity.

“We believe the single most important thing we can do here is help people get wealthy, because if that happens more investors will start to look at this region and see there’s business opportunities and bring more capital.

“The aim is to build the biggest hub for entrepreneurship in East Africa,” said Engellau-Nilsson.

Norrsken Kigali will also provide mentorship and support of the overall Norrsken organization and network to Startups that receive Norrsken funding.

“That includes unicorn founders, leading tech founders, and developers. We also look to expand that network to local accelerators and incubators,” said Engellau-Nilsson.

Norrsken was formed in 2016 by Niklas Adalberth, the founder of Swedish payments solutions unicorn Klarna with an aim of strengthening and support impact-driven, early stage ventures.

“We wanted to use our experience and tech to solve real problems instead of finding another way to do things like deliver burrito’s faster,” said Engellau-Nilsson.

Currently, over 340 entrepreneurs and 120 companies work out of Norrsken’s Stockholm location which has invested in 17 ventures, including three Africa focused startups—agtech company Wefarm, digital publisher Kognity, and weather forecasting firm Ignita.

Of the East African countries from which Norrksen will source investments, Kenya stands out as one of the continent’s top hubs for tech startup formation, VC, and exits.

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