Thirty founders of unicorns have backed African tech entrepreneurs through Norrsken22. This new US$200m tech growth fund will invest in exceptional entrepreneurs who are building Africa’s next tech giants.
In 2016, Norrsken was founded by Niklas Adalberth (one of the founders the Swedish fintech unicorn Klarna). Its mission is to assist entrepreneurs in solving the greatest problems of the world. Its ecosystem includes Norrsken House which is a coworking space for more than 350 impact entrepreneurs in Stockholm, as well as the Norrsken Founders Fund and Norrsken VC.
Disrupt Africa reported that in 2019, the foundation had opened operations in Kigali (Rwanda), which it stated it intended to use for investment across the East and Central African regions. Last year, it admitted 11 African startups into the inaugural edition the Norrsken Impact Accelerator.
To launch the Norrsken22 Africa Tech Growth Fund, it has partnered Hans Otterling (partner at Northzone) and an investment team headed by Natalie Kolbe, former global head of private capital at Actis in South Africa, Actis colleague Ngetha waithaka in Kenya, as well as Lexi Novitske, founder and CEO of Acuity Venture Partners. Today, the fund closed its first close at US$110 million.
Fund founders from 30 unicorn companies are contributing US$65 million of funding and their entrepreneurial skills. Olugbenga Agboola is the co-founder and co-founders of Flutterwave, Niklas Zennstrom, cofounder of Skype, Jacob de Geer, cofounder of iZettle, Niklas Ostberg (co-founders of Delivery Hero), Carl Manneh (co-founders of Mojang), Sebastian Knutsson (co-founders of King) and Willard Ahdritz (founder of Kobalt Music). SEB Pension Foundation and family offices also support the fund, which shares the Norrsken22 vision that scalable entrepreneurship is a key driver of sustainable economic growth in Africa.
Norrsken22 will support exceptional businesses and category leaders in fintech, market-enabling and e-health. This fund will deliver top quartile returns and have a strong, positive impact on Africa. Norrsken Foundation will invest its share of capital generated by Norrsken22 into support African entrepreneurship to promote growth and the development of Africa’s tech ecosystem.
“Africa is home to 1.2 billion people, of which 60% are under 25 years. Niklas Adalberth (founder of Norrsken Foundation) said that the future of Africa will be shaped by this digital-first, young generation.
“Eyes are turning to Africa as the next epicenter for digital disruption. Emerging enterprises can leapfrog traditional ways of doing business thanks to technology. “Leaders are emerging, but a lack capital for growth is holding them back,” stated Hans Otterling (Norrsken22 founding partner).
Pan-African Investment Team is based in Africa’s key tech hubs. They have previously supported Africa’s fastest growing unicorns, from Fawry and Flutterwave. They are now focused on helping African entrepreneurs scale their businesses and help them expand internationally and regionally. An advisory council made up of business leaders from all over Africa supports the fund.