Norrsken22, has managed to raise a total of $205 million for its debut fund. This move highlights a keen interest from institutional investors in supporting African startups at an essential phase of their journey.
Norrsken22, is a Pan-African venture capital firm which was established by five individuals with extensive experience in venture capital and private equity They include founding partners Niklas Adalberth and Hans Otterling, along with managing partner Natalie Kolbe and general partners Ngetha Waithaka and Lexi Novitske. This venture capital firm, nearly two years old, has operational teams in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana.
The partners launched the fund, named the Norrsken22 African Tech Growth Fund, in January last year after reaching the first close at $110 million. Approximately 59% of the funding came from a consortium of 30 unicorn founders globally, including Flutterwave CEO Olugbenga Agboola, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, iZettle co-founder Jacob de Geer, and Delivery Hero co-founder Niklas Östberg.
Approximately 50% of Norrsken’s capital will be allocated to building its portfolio with Series A and B companies; the remaining will be reserved for follow-on investments, primarily in the B and C rounds, according to Kolbe.
In a statement, the firm said it is focused on “entrepreneurs developing fintech, edtech, medtech [health tech], and market-enabling solutions that will deliver strong returns and have a positive impact across Africa.” So far, the Pan-African growth-stage fund has made five investments, including challenger bank TymeBank, B2B commerce retail platform Sabi, identity verification solution Smile Identity, auto financing platform Autochek and financing app for informal merchant communities Shara.
“The kind of value that we bring is for companies that are looking to grow beyond their borders and building up multi-country, Pan-African businesses. Having three general partners in the beacon economies of sub-Saharan Africa: Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, we were able to provide the companies with people on the ground and networks on the ground, and we also understand the nuances of growth and opportunity in each of our markets,” Kolbe said on Norrsken22’s investment strategy. “Also, these are startups looking for an investor that can write a big check and can follow on in future rounds and anchor those rounds. That’s become very important, particularly now as liquidity becomes a bit tighter on the continent.”
Norrsken22’s target remains investing in approximately 20 startups. The fund’s typical investment ticket size averages around $10 million. Yet, it may go as high as $16 million, encompassing follow-on rounds in select portfolio companies, as discussed by the partners in a previous interview.