The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is part of the World Bank, plans to invest up to $2 million (KSh215 million) in Antler East Africa, a venture capital firm based in Nairobi. The funds will primarily be invested in pre-seed opportunities in East Africa and beyond.
According to information on its website, Antler is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs. The company has invested in more than 200 startups throughout the world. Some of its local advisors are Ory Okolloh, the Managing Director at Luminate Group and Peter Njonjo, Co-Founder and CEO of Twiga Foods.
The Nairobi based Venture firm is seeking $15 million (KSh1.6 billion) in capital commitments to support early-stage women-owned startups as well as pre-seed ventures in Kenya and the neighbouring economies. IFC intends to put in an equity investment of $1.5 million through Catalyst and $0.5 million through the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).
IFC expects the investment in Antler will lead to easy access to pre-seed stage equity, enable start-ups in East Africa to scale operations and provide follow-on funding.
“This investment has the potential to increase the competitiveness of the local start-up ecosystem and venture capital market in East Africa, especially Kenya, through demonstration and capacity building effects,” IFC says on its website.
Besides providing financial support to Antler EA, IFC will also offer non-financial support in terms of setting standards for the fund that are in line with IFC performance standards.