Janngo: accelerating sustainable development in Africa

By Leah Netabai

Janngo has pledged US$66.7mn to back African startups that utilise technology to accelerate African Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What is the Janngo Capital Startup Fund?

The first of its kind Venture Capital, is a startup fund looking to finance tech-enabled startup companies that strive to accelerate Africa’s progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The total investment pot of US$66.7mn - with an anchor investment of US$16.7mn by the European Investment Bank (EIB) - will invest in startups from seed through to growth across the African region. The fund also aims to target at least 50% of startups founded, co-founded or benefiting women. 

"Thanks to the support of the EIB, we will be able to invest between US$55,400 and US$5.5mn, from seed through growth stage in startups all across Africa demonstrating the ability to deliver financial and social returns. Every past investment and every startup in our dealflow is mapped against the 17 SDGs,” comments Fatoumata BA, Executive Chair of Janngo and Managing Partner of Janngo Capital.

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What does this mean for Africa?

Currently in Africa, three million jobs are created every year, which is significantly less than the 20/30mn needed to absorb the region's fast growing labour force. Investing in startups will help to bridge the unemployment gap that is currently in the region. 

“In 2050, we’ll be roughly 2.2 billion people in Africa, which means that we need to find now massive ways to feed, educate, house, care for and employ more than 1 billion people in less than 30 years. We believe traditional development models have failed because they were unbalanced and unsustainable either only focusing on commercial returns or too heavily aid-based. Our thesis strikes the right balance between delivering solid returns to our investors while being socially accountable, solving key market failures and leveraging technology to help leapfrog development.” explains Fatoumata.

In addition to improving unemployment rates, the fund aims to improve gender inequality relating to funding access. Currently within the region there is a US$42bn funding gap for women entrepreneurs. 

“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% of our proceeds in startups founded, co-founded by or benefiting women,” concludes Fatoumata.

For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.

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