In an exciting development for the tech ecosystem, OpenseedVC, an early-stage venture capital firm, has launched with a $10 million fund aimed at supporting startups across Africa and Europe. This new fund is designed to back founders with domain expertise, highlighting the increasing emphasis on founder experience in these regions.

First Close of $10 Million Fund

Launched in 2024, OpenseedVC has successfully reached the first close of its inaugural $10 million fund. The firm expects to achieve a second close by May next year. This fund marks a significant milestone for OpenseedVC, emphasizing its commitment to nurturing early-stage startups with a strong potential for growth.

Investment Strategy and Focus Areas

OpenseedVC plans to invest up to $150,000 in startups operating within B2B software, artificial intelligence, fintech, digital health, and the future of work sectors. The firm has already made investments in two undisclosed AI startups located in Nigeria and the UK. Maria Rotilu, General Partner at OpenseedVC, explained the firm's investment approach, stating, “Before investing, we tend to ask three main questions: How big? Why this team—what’s their unique advantage? And why now?”

Emphasis on Founder Expertise

A lack of domain expertise among founders is a common cause of startup failures. OpenseedVC prioritizes founders who possess a deep understanding of their market and the necessary skills to navigate its complexities. “OpenseedVC operates at a sweet spot where startups with strong potential for success, partly based on the founder’s relevant execution ability, receive support,” said Rotilu.

Support for Startups in Challenging Times

The launch of OpenseedVC offers a new funding alternative for African startups, especially crucial as funding dipped by 33% in 2023, with startups raising only about $3.2 billion. Rotilu noted the importance of supporting early-stage founders in difficult fundraising climates, stating, “We believe incredible companies are born in the most difficult macroeconomic climates. We want to be the first believers in these experienced operators to give them a great head start, with capital and an extensive operator network that supports them from the start to the launch of their technology companies.”

Extensive Network and Future Plans

OpenseedVC boasts a network of over 50 experienced operators with deep expertise across its investment sectors. This network is instrumental in providing comprehensive support to founders alongside the OpenseedVC team. The firm currently invests across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa and aims to maintain a balanced portfolio across both regions.