VC fund Antler East Africa set to receive US$2m from IFC for pre-seed investments

KENYA Antler East Africa, a start-up generator and early-stage venture capital fund based in Nairobi is set to get US$2 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for investments in pre-seed opportunities in East Africa and beyond.

The global venture capital fund has invested in more than 200 startups throughout the world.

Some of its Kenya office advisors are Ory Okolloh, a director at brewing giant East African Breweries and Managing Director at Luminate Group and Peter Njonjo, Co-Founder and CEO of Twiga Foods.

The Nairobi based Venture firm is again seeking US$15 million in capital commitments to support early-stage women-owned startups as well as pre-seed ventures in Kenya and the neighbouring countries.

IFC intends to put in an equity investment of US$1.5 million through Catalyst and US$0.5 million through the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).

The World Bank Group member expects the investment in Antler will lead to easy access to pre-seed stage equity, enable start-ups in East Africa to scale operations and provide follow-on funding.

“This investment has the potential to increase the competitiveness of the local start-up ecosystem and venture capital market in East Africa, especially Kenya, through demonstration and capacity building effects,” IFC said on its website.

Besides providing financial support to Antler EA, IFC will also offer non-financial support in terms of setting standards for the fund that are in line with IFC performance standards.

Antler’s program provides founders with funding from day one, access to a global network of advisors and a clear path to raising capital.

In 2020, Antler invested US$100,000 in pre-seed funding in almost four of businesses in Kenya, becoming the first series of Antler portfolio companies to come out of Africa.

The investments, all of which, were secured by health credit startup Anyi Health, data-driven marketing platform AIfluence, FMCG distribution solution ChapChap Go, and retail-tech startup digiduka.

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