Emerging and Growth Markets | November 12, 2023

Novastar Ventures secures $40 million for African impact startups

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, November 13 – Financial services firm SBI Holdings has directly invested in several startups on the continent. It’s now backing Novastar to ramp up its exposure.

Novastar, a nine-year-old impact investment firm, said only that SBI’s capital would be allocated to the its future funds. The firm is raising its third fund. 

London, Lagos and Nairobi-based Novastar has invested $200 million in two dozen African companies supporting the green transition and access to energy, education and healthcare. Its portfolio includes Kenyan electric bus company BasiGo, weather forecasting venture Ignitia, and artisan marketplace Soko.

Eye for Africa

Japanese investors are showing increased interest in Africa’s startup scene. Last year, the Japanese government pledged $30 billion for African development, in part to counter-balance to China’s economic presence.

Kepple Africa Ventures, a Japan, Nigeria and Kenya-based venture capital firm, has invested in more than 100 African startups since 2018. In March, it inked $43 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and others for a partner fund with Nigerian private equity firm Verod Capital.

Toyota Tsusho Group in 2019 launched Mobility 54 to invest in African mobility startups.