ImpactAlpha, June 20 — Geneva-based Seedstars and Swiss foundation Fondation Botnar are putting up an initial $20 million to launch Seedstars Youth Wellbeing Ventures, which will invest in up to seven early-stage ventures each year over the next four to five years. “If we see more companies fitting our investment criteria and theory of change, we can deploy more,” Seedstars’ Benjamin Langer told ImpactAlpha.
Seedstars Youth Wellbeing will write pre-seed to Series B checks ranging from $250,000 to $500,000 in companies working to improve health services, environmental sustainability, local food security, water and sanitation, waste management, education, affordable housing and other sectors. The fund will invest with a network of co-investors with a focus on Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco and Egypt.
Africa’s population is the youngest in the world. Seedstars and Fondation Botnar launched the fund to improve the health and wellbeing of young people in low- and middle-income countries in Africa. “Rapid urbanization and the increasing number of young people living in cities present both unique challenges and opportunities,” said Fondation Botnar’s Antoine Veyrassat.
The duo’s first investment was in Senegal’s Chargel, a logistics tech startup that helps improve working conditions for young Senegalese truck drivers. “Most of the truck drivers are in their 20s and early 30s,” said Langer.