Global VC Flourish Launches Madica, Africa-Focused Program to Support Pre-seed Startups • TechCrunch
Access to finance and lack of support systems are some of the biggest challenges startup founders face in sub-Saharan Africa. And while venture capital and founder support programs are growing on the continent, much more needs to be done to meet the funding, technology and social capital needs of particularly marginalized groups such as female founders.
It is these gaps that continue to inspire the development of new programs such as Madika by a US-based venture capital firm Flourish Ventureswhich hopes to reduce the burden of creating startups.
Launched today, Madica is a pan-African investment program that aims to offer funding, technology support and mentorship to underrepresented founders across the continent. The sector-agnostic program targets tech startups at the pre-seed stage, where most ideas fail.
The program allocated $6 million to invest in 30 African startups, each receiving up to $200,000 in equity in much-needed funding. The initial investment phase will last for three years.
“Although investment is booming on the continent, funds often go disproportionately to a few well-connected entrepreneurs and are skewed towards better-known tech hubs… Madica is sector agnostic and intends to double down on hands-on support, extensive resources, access to networks and more. That’s why, in addition to $6 million in investment capital, we have reserved an equal amount for programmatic support,” said Manica’s head, Emmanuel Adegboye.
“We encourage founders from across the continent to apply for our program. We believe that Africans have an unmatched entrepreneurial spirit and one of Madica’s main goals is to ensure a level playing field for every African founder,” he said.
Madica said it is also looking to expand into the continent’s underserved markets, beyond the well-established hubs of Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. This is part of an effort to ensure pan-African reach by supporting local founders and women.
To qualify for the program, founders must be working on their idea full-time, have a minimum viable product, and must have no or no institutional funding. Application and admission to the program will be on a rolling basis.
Madica is also working with AfriLabs, Pariti, Africa Early Stage Investor Summit, CELO Fund and Rising Tide to find entrepreneurs to support.
Participating founders will be matched with mentors, including Isis Nyong’o, partner at Asphalt & Ink; Ceviant Finance Co-Founder Idris Saliu and Wendy Hoffman, Capital Counsel at The Delta.
“Madica is an investment in the African venture ecosystem with the audacious aim of creating a broader systemic shift. With Madica, we intend to build a staff of teachers, create world-class programs, attract follow-on capital and use Flourish’s global presence to expand local networks. Ultimately, this will benefit other members of the ecosystem – startups, investors and politicians,” said Amey Upadhyayaventure partner at Flourish Ventures, an early-stage fintech venture capital firm whose portfolio includes Nigeria’s Flutterwave and Paga.
“We hope that Madica can help change the narrative around African startups – reduce the perception of risk, attract more capital, inspire more founders and attract more media attention,” said Upadhyay.