The ABAN and AfriLabs partner to launch African matching fund Catalyst

AFRICA – The African Business Angels Network (ABAN) and AfriLabs, a network for technology hubs and innovation centres, have launched Catalyst, a co-investment fund that will offer matching funding to investments made by qualifying angel investors in African growth-stage companies.

The partnership between AfriLabs, a pan-African network of technology and innovation centres, and ABAN aims to increase the pool of capital available to promising African growth-stage entrepreneurs, support the startup ecosystem, and increase the visibility of impact to institutional funders.

Catalyst will operate a co-investment fund that will match investments from qualifying angel investors into African growth-stage companies

To take advantage of the initiative, startups must register on the Catalyst platform through hubs that are members of the AfriLabs network.

After receiving investments, the performance of participating startups will be reported and monitored via the Catalyst platform.

The first Catalyst co-investment fund will be available towards the end of the year, with a funding partner which AfriLabs and ABAN said will be announced soon.

“When we signed the MOU with AfriLabs at their Annual Gathering in Dar es Salam in 2018, we were excited about the opportunity for partnership between angels and hubs on the continent.” said ABAN president Tomi Davies.

“Catalyst will facilitate the development of those relationships as the first initiative of what we expect to be a highly valuable and long-lasting collaboration between AfriLabs and ABAN,” he added.

AfriLabs board chair Rebecca Enonchong said as the first pan-African programme of this type, developed by Africans, for Africans, Catalyst was a “real gamechanger”.

She also pointed in the same statement that the two organisations have all recognised the need to increase early-stage funding for African founders.

“Catalyst not only does that, but it helps to structure the ecosystem, supports collaboration, and provides actionable insights into the early-stage funding landscape, all the while strengthening our hubs and our angel networks.

‘‘We have all recognized the need to increase early stage funding for our African founders. Catalyst not only does that, but it helps to structure the ecosystem, supports collaboration, and provides actionable insights into the early-stage funding landscape, all the while strengthening our hubs and our angel networks,” she said.

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