Saviu Ventures’ Fundraising Triumph
Saviu Ventures, a distinguished venture capital firm dedicated to nurturing startups in Francophone Africa, has achieved a significant milestone by securing an initial close of €12 million for its second fund. This funding round witnessed robust support from private investors, including influential French and Kenyan family offices. Co-founded by Benoit Delestre and Samuel Touboul, Saviu Ventures is now poised to play a pivotal role in advancing and empowering the burgeoning startup ecosystem in the Francophone region.
A Journey of Impact: Saviu Ventures' Evolution
Since its establishment in 2018, Saviu Ventures has been actively contributing to the Francophone Africa startup landscape. The firm initiated its journey with the deployment of its first fund, amounting to €10 million. With the current fund, Saviu Ventures aims to expand its investments primarily in fintechs, health-techs, and climate-techs. Notably, there will be a slight shift in focus away from e-mobility, e-commerce, and e-logistics. Benoit Delestre revealed in an exclusive interview with TechCrunch, "We will follow the same strategy of our first fund, where the majority of our investment will go to startups in the Francophone region. But we still keep the opportunity to invest in East, Southern, and North Africa startups that are keen on expanding to Francophone Africa."
Strategic Allocation and Sustainable Vision
Saviu Ventures plans to allocate the funds by investing between €500,000 and €3 million in 15 to 20 post-revenue startups. The emphasis remains on sustainable companies, and the venture capital firm goes beyond financial investment by providing comprehensive business development support to its portfolio businesses.
Strategic Investments and Commitment to Sustainability
The second fund has already strategically invested in promising startups, including Waspito, a health-tech company based in Cameroon; Rubyx, a digital lending SaaS provider from Senegal; and Workpay, an HR-payroll solutions provider. Samuel Touboul underlined Saviu Ventures’ commitment to sustainable businesses, stating, “We are looking for sustainable businesses. We don’t want to target unicorns because we are not interested in businesses or business models that insist on burning cash. Our belief is in supporting talented entrepreneurs building sustainable businesses.”
Saviu Ventures’ first fund, totaling between €250,000 and €500,000, was invested in 12 startups, with 82% of them originating from the Francophone region. The diverse portfolio includes companies like Anka (Afrikrea), an e-commerce platform; Julaya, an Ivorian neobank; Zanifu, a Kenyan digital lender; Lapaire, an eyewear retailer with operations in Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Togo; and Paps, a Senegalese e-logistics startup.
Francophone Focus and Unique Market Dynamics
Saviu Ventures stands out as one of the pioneering venture capital firms specifically targeting the Francophone ecosystem. The region is gaining increasing attention from investors due to factors such as lower competition, vast market opportunities, and attractively priced deals compared to more mature Anglophone regions.
According to the 2022 Partech report, the Francophone region accounted for 49% and 38% of the rest of Africa’s deals and funding, respectively, last year. Despite challenges, the region remains a compelling investment destination, with equity funding remaining nearly flat last year, following a significant 695% year-on-year growth in 2021.
Evolving Landscape and Saviu Ventures’ Role
Benoit Delestre reflected on the evolving landscape, stating, “The ecosystem in francophone Africa is now much more developed than it was in 2018 when there were fewer founders and no incubators. It’s still very far from what you see in Kenya or South Africa, but it is much better now.”
Towards a Thriving Future: Saviu Ventures’ Ongoing Mission
Saviu Ventures’ successful initial close of €12 million positions it strongly to continue fostering sustainable businesses, supporting talented entrepreneurs, and contributing to the growth and development of the vibrant startup ecosystem in Francophone Africa. Ongoing discussions with other stakeholders, including institutional investors, aim to propel the fund toward its ultimate target of €30 million to €50 million, further solidifying Saviu Ventures’ pivotal role in the region’s startup landscape.