Innovative Finance | March 8, 2021

Microtraction backs African equity crowdfunding platform Raise

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, March 8 – Equity crowdfunding platforms that have taken off in the U.S. and Europe allow everyday investors to support promising entrepreneurs. Raise wants to enable more Africans to back African startups the same way.

Early-stage tech investor Microtraction backed the company with a $25,000 investment. 

Most African startups that have succeeded with crowdfunding campaigns have used U.S. and European platforms; most have secured debt, not equity. Raise is looking to serve entrepreneurs and investors across the continent. In South Africa, Up.Raise is an equity crowdfunding platform focused on South African investors and entrepreneurs. The People’s Fund, also in South Africa, offers purchase-order financing, a type of working capital. 

Early bets

Lagos-based Microtraction is an early-stage venture capital firm with a Y Combinator-like model: it invests $25,000 for a 7% stake in each of its portfolio companies. Among its investments: African biobank 54gene, which last year raised $15 million; wealth management app Cowrywise, which raised $3 million in January; and education finance venture AllPro, which later became a Y Combinator venture