- International Finance Corporation (IFC)
- VISA Foundation
- The Rockefeller Foundation
SeedStars, which began in 2012 as a pitching competition for seed stage startups, quickly began seeking such startups that had high potential for societal change as well as growth. In June 2019, its pitching competition in Kenya had 10 pitchers, including 3 that were blockchain-based.
Later on, in September 2019, Exuus, a decentralized ledger service, won the Seedstars Kigali 2019.
According to SeedStars, since 2013, they have supported over 90 emerging market venture ecosystems, seeing first-hand how the founder talent pool has matured with 2,070 VC-backed start-ups in 2021 in their core markets versus just over 560 in 2017.
SeedStars seeks to leverage this progress and invest in 100 pre-seed and seed stage companies. Investments will be focused on companies building for the future of finance, commerce, health, work and education, with follow-on investments up to Series A.
The predecessor fund invested in 81 companies in over 30 countries, with category-leading investments in all regions. Some of leading companies that got funding include:
According to Charlie Graham-Brown, Partner, SeedStars:
“I have no doubt about the abundance of talented founders or the market opportunities, but the challenges can’t be ignored. Our strategy innovates on so many levels to mitigate risk, be it through our country diversification, portfolio construction strategy, value creation platform, or the blended finance structure.
We have a unique recipe, an incredible team, and backers in place to build on the success of the first fund and level the playing field for tech entrepreneurs around the world.”
– Partner, SeedStars
Another SeedStars partner, Patricia Sosrodjojo, said:
“Investing and impact don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Our strategy combines these two critical objectives in one and we believe that is what both founders and investors are searching for.”
– Partner, SeedStars
SeedStars also recently ran a blockchain accelerator in partnership with Cardano and Financial Times where the following startups emerged as finalists:
- Fresh Afrika
- Merkle Science
According to Seedstars, venture capital flows in emerging markets have been growing at a 40% rate year-on-year, yet remain just 4% of global volumes. However, cash is only one of the ingredients for venture success and SeedStars distinguishes itself through its Value Creation Platform, built to help portfolio companies scale up rapidly.
Through the platform, startups stand to receive mentorship to help them acquire knowledge and skills to build successful businesses.