Niklas Adalberth’s Norrsken Foundation, in the news again barely two months after opening its Norrsken House in Kigali, Rwanda, plans to accommodate thousands of entrepreneurs by next year.
This time, the foundation has teamed up with 30 unicorn founders and a couple of seasoned venture capital and private equity investors to launch a $200 million fund targeted at African startups.
The fund, dubbed the Norrsken22 African Tech Growth Fund, has reached its first close of $110 million per a statement seen by TechCrunch. It’s the latest fund launched by Norrsken after closing €125 million impact fund for European startups last March.
Hans Otterling, a partner at Northzone, a U.K.-based early VC firm that led the investment in Adalberth’s previous company Klarna, is Norrsken’s founding partner alongside the Klarna co-founder.
Making up the firm’s investment are the general partners that include Natalie Kolbe, the ex-global head of private equity at Actis, a private equity fund investing in emerging markets; her colleague, Ngetha Waithaka; and Lexi Novitske, the ex-managing partner at Acuity Ventures Platform. Novitske told TechCrunch on a call that the firm is speaking to a few DFIs to reach a final close later this year.
Before Acuity, Novitske was principal at Singularity Investments. Portfolio companies across both firms include API fintechs such as Mono and OnePipe and exited companies like Flutterwave, Paystack and mPharma.
Africa VC funding reached an all-time high in 2021 at over $4 billion — more than what startups on the continent raised in the two previous years combined. Growth and late-stage deals such as $100 million-plus rounds from unicorns Andela Flutterwave, Chipper Cash, OPay and Wave and other companies largely propelled this growth. Nevertheless, according to insights from The Big Deal and Briter Bridges, they were relatively few compared to early-stage deals.
SOURCE: Tage Kene-Okafor, who covers startups and investment activities in Nigeria and Africa for TechCrunch.