Pre-seed venture capital (VC) fund and accelerator Catalyst Fund has announced a $2 million investment in 10 startups developing solutions to improve the resilience of communities most vulnerable to climate change in Africa.
This is the first cohort of startups to receive funding from Catalyst Fund’s new $30M investment fund, backed by the financial sector development agency FSD Africa, aimed at helping early-stage founders develop technologies that will make Africa less susceptible to the impact of climate change.
These companies join Catalyst Fund’s existing portfolio in emerging markets which is made up of 61 startups. Catalyst Fund’s portfolio companies have so far raised more than US$640 million in follow-on financing and their solutions have already benefited more than 14 million people and small and medium-sized businesses worldwide.
The startups include Eight Medical, Farmz2U, and PaddyCover from Nigeria, Farm to Feed and Octavia Carbon from Kenya, Bekia and VAIS from Egypt, Agro Supply from Uganda, Assuraf from Senega, and agroforestry startup Sand to Green from Morocco.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to invest and support these ten African startups who are working through their innovative solutions to build a more resilient and sustainable future,” said Maelis Carraro, partner, and director of Catalyst Fund.
“Our goal is to support entrepreneurs who share our vision of a world in which everyone has the tools and opportunities they need to thrive. From AgTech and InsurTech, to waste management, natural disaster response, and carbon finance, these startups showcase technology and business model innovations that will help communities better adapt. to climate impacts and to increase their resilience,” Carraro explained further in a press statement.
Each of the 10 startups received $100,000 in capital investments as well as $100,000 in personalized support from Catalyst Fund experts aimed at accelerating their growth. In addition, each startup may be offered direct relationships with investors and talent networks that allow them to evolve.
Agro Supply Limited has developed a layaway system that makes use of a USSD code and scratch cards plus mobile money to enable farmers to save for agricultural inputs.