EchoVC secures $2.5 million to support eco-friendly startups.

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EchoVC has unveiled its latest initiative, the EchoVC Eco Pilot Fund I, a pre-seed fund with a total value of $2.5 million. This fund is specifically designed to support startups engaged in developing solutions related to climate, mobility, energy, and agriculture.

Eghosa Omoigui, the Managing Partner of the firm, highlighted the fund’s objective to provide startups with their initial institutional funding while offering additional support for subsequent fundraising efforts. Describing it as a pilot fund, Omoigui expressed the intention to sponsor a stream of high-quality founders who can establish robust companies. He also alluded to the prospect of introducing a larger fund in 2024 focused on climate and energy.

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Over the past year, several venture capital firms have introduced funds dedicated to supporting startups in Africa’s climate sector. Notably, French VC firm Satgana closed the first round of a $32 million fund in 2022, aimed at investing in startups across the energy, mobility, food, and agriculture sectors.

This year, Catalyst Fund achieved the initial closing of a $40 million climate fund, and Equator introduced a fund targeting startups in the energy and mobility sectors. EchoVC’s latest fund, launched seven months after unveiling a blockchain fund, is the outcome of more than a year of research.

The initiative also addresses the scarcity of early-stage funding available to Africa’s climate-focused startups.

Taiwo Kamson, Principal at EchoVC, clarified the motivation behind the fund, stating, “As we see more mid-sized and large funds coming to market to back climate and energy startups, we have struggled to find any that are set up to take first money risk or do the work to help kickstart the companies that will later be candidates for investment by these funds. The continent needs these pre-seed stage companies to create and deploy the solutions necessary to meet market demand and enable climate-resilient economies.”

While EchoVC has previously invested in startups within the mobility, agriculture, climate, and energy sectors, the scale of this new fund will provide valuable insights into investing in these types of startups.

The Eco Pilot Fund I, with a commitment to supporting under-represented founders, aims to invest in up to ten pre-seed stage startups. These selected startups will focus on developing solutions that enhance access to finance, insurance, and markets for smallholder farmers in Africa. Additionally, the fund will consider startups providing renewable energy solutions and innovative urban transportation approaches. While the fund has a broader African mandate, a significant portion of its investments will be directed towards startups based in Kenya and Nigeria.

Source: TechPoint