Seedstars Youth Wellbeing Ventures, a $20 million investment mandate aimed at early-stage entrepreneurs in Africa with a focus on enhancing the wellbeing of people under the age of 30 in low- and middle-income countries, has been created by Seedstars Capital and the Swiss philanthropic foundation Fondation Botnar.
The evergreen fund will support pre-seed to Series A startups, including those in Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, and Egypt that improve health services, environmental sustainability and ecological resilience (like access to clean energy), local food security, water and sanitation, waste management, affordable housing, access to employment, and secure and environmentally friendly transportation.
According to Seedstars, the mandate will provide up to $750,000 in further investments beyond the initial $250,000, according to TechCrunch. Over the next five years, it intends to invest in at least seven businesses yearly.
In order to encourage more finance to flow into Africa, Seedstars Youth Wellbeing Ventures will co-invest with like-minded investors. It will find, invest in, and scale firms that have the potential to change the lives of young people in its target markets with the help of its co-investor network.
“If we compare developed countries with emerging economies, there is a significant difference in the wellbeing of adolescents. According to Benjamin Langer, partner at Seedstars Capital, an alternative investment platform established last year to support new fund managers in emerging and frontier markets, “Our goal is to transform cities by creating inclusive urban environments and systems that are truly fit and ready to support the health and wellbeing of the young people who live in emerging markets.
Langer continued, “We can expedite our aim outcome to improve the wellbeing of young people in emerging nations by investing in purpose-related venture-backed enterprises. We contrast the “acceleration” with other initiatives the partners are conducting, such as grants or donations in developing nations.
The logistics start-up Chargel, based in Senegal, connects shippers and transporters, and Seedstars and Fondation Botnar have already made their first joint investment in the company. Chargel serves as a platform for truck fleet owners, but it also brings together independent shippers to provide them with new revenue streams.
Antoine Veyrassat, the venture philanthropy head at Fondation Botnar, commented on the introduction of the Wellbeing Ventures mandate, saying, “Fondation Botnar is excited to join Seedstars in supporting companies that are making a difference.”
In particular, Veyrassat noted that “rapid urbanization and the growing number of young people living in cities present both unique challenges and opportunities,” and that “our shared commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of young people aligns strongly with our investment strategy that takes a market-based approach to philanthropy in addition to our other philanthropic funding.”
The Fondation Botnar is committed to enhancing the health and welfare of young people around the world who reside in metropolitan environments.
The Seedstars Group, a worldwide accelerator and venture capital firm engaged in more than 30 emerging markets, continues to expand its list of funds with the addition of Seedstars Youth Wellbeing Ventures. Seedstars International Ventures I (SIV I), its first international fund for emerging markets, focuses on the pre-seed stage. Seedstars International Ventures II, a fund launched last year in collaboration with Patricia Sosrodjojo, targets 100 startups in emerging markets.
It also adds to the growing list of purpose-driven funds that have recently been established in Africa, such as the Pan-African Venture Firm Novastar’s Africa People + Planet Fund, which is raising more than $200 million to invest in startups creating agricultural and climate solutions on the continent, and another by Climate Tech VC Equator, which targets startups reducing the effects of climate change.