P1 Ventures, a Pan-African fund investing in fintech, e-commerce, healthtech, SaaS and AI ventures in African market has accomplished the primary $25 million shut of its second fund, in a transfer to help formidable startups with international multi-stage and sector expertise by way of its networks throughout the US, Europe and Asia.
Based in 2020 by Mikael Hajjar and Hisham Halbouny, P1 Ventures deliberately focuses on a small variety of distinctive African founders and firms constructing transformational software program companies with regional and international potential. P1 combines its native market data, a world observe document and AI to unlock the continent’s big and largely untapped potential.
In a press release, Mikael Hajjar mentioned: “As far I do know, I’m the primary Mauritanian who’s ever launched a fund. Coming from a comparatively small economic system evokes us at P1 Ventures to go off the crushed path and again the underdogs. We love formidable African founders who construct services addressing a regional, if not international, buyer base. Combining our deep native data, our robust knowledge orientation and our expertise as traders, we will determine distinctive alternatives and assist entrepreneurs grow to be international winners.”
P1 Ventures has invested in 29 early-stage corporations throughout 10 nations together with Cash Fellows in Egypt, and Reliance Well being in Nigeria, Yassir in Algeria – a super-app working in Francophone Africa which not too long ago introduced the closing of $150 million in a Collection B funding spherical and Gameball, a software program firm gamifying loyalty and buyer retention with a world shopper base throughout 70 nations.
About 65% of the world’s remaining arable land is in Africa, creating a big alternative to scale up agriculture, tackle meals safety points, and fight local weather change. P1 not too long ago launched an Entrepreneur In Residence program and seeded Nkoloso, which gathers knowledge and retains observe of huge tracts of agricultural land utilizing satellite tv for pc imagery and AI. The corporate gives a variety of purposes, together with monitoring crop acreage and yields for credit score and insurance coverage underwriting, in addition to calculating the worth of timber and carbon credit.
Founder and normal accomplice Mikael Hajjar is an engineer and Stanford MBA graduate who has led Fortune 500 expertise corporations Areva, Google and Zum and began angel investing in Africa in 2014 whereas co-founder and normal accomplice Hisham Halbouny beforehand served as a Accomplice at Man Capital, an early investor in Uber, Airbnb, and Bolt, and has scaled companies throughout Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt. He was Managing Director at EFG Hermes, the area’s largest funding financial institution.
P1 has additionally recognized a possibility for the pan-African area to make use of AI to leapfrog legacy infrastructure, significantly in antiquated sectors equivalent to agriculture and FMCG retail. Simply as cellular cash in Africa leapfrogged debit and bank card infrastructure, AI can construct high-fidelity knowledge and improve the time-to-value proposition to rework sectors.
FMCG is likely one of the largest, most fragmented and casual industries in Africa. P1 not too long ago invested in a Senegalese startup that leverages pc imaginative and prescient, geolocation and conversational AI applied sciences to assemble and analyse knowledge, offering actionable options for manufacturers and distributors. P1 believes this may be expanded in different industries equivalent to healthcare, shopper electronics distribution or the artistic economic system.
Whereas AI is a large alternative for the continent, it may well additionally speed up the distribution and potential of enterprise capital, if used strategically by traders with deep data. P1 Ventures is embedding AI in its personal workflow to supply offers and increase its investing workforce, serving to the agency have even higher attain in a area the place data and knowledge are notoriously scarce. In constructing probably the most complete database of African startups thus far, P1 might be much more helpful to the portfolio corporations it invests in.
P1 Ventures’ new fund will construct on the success of the primary fund in addition to the large alternative in Africa’s startup tech sector. Africa was one among solely a handful of tech ecosystems to see elevated VC funding in 2022 when international VC funding fell by 35%. Africa has skilled the quickest VC progress globally, with nearly $6bn deployed in African startups previously 12 months alone. African founders have additionally been capital environment friendly, over $10bn of enterprise worth has been created throughout solely 12 expertise corporations – together with P1 Ventures’ Yassir. Over 10 years, lower than $20bn of VC has been invested throughout the complete continent. Nonetheless, some $3 trillion of shopper spending is forecast for the area.
Noureddine Tayebi CEO and co-founder of Yassir mentioned P1 Ventures was probably the most hands-on Seed traders that they had and Mikael helped Yassir supply GM candidates to develop, recruit a Technique Lead from Lyft, launched them to Emil Michael, the previous Chief Enterprise Officer at Uber, and most significantly reinvested in each single spherical together with the agency’s final Collection B.