P1 Ventures Just Secures $25M First Close for Pan-African Contrarian Fund

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Pan-African venture capital firm P1 Ventures has raised $25 million in the first close of its second fund. The capital was secured from major African industrial conglomerates, private companies, fund of funds, and general partners of global funds in the US and Europe. P1 Ventures, launched in 2020, plans to reach a final close by early next year. The firm’s first fund focused on e-commerce, fintech, insurtech, health tech, and SaaS industries, while the second fund will also include investments in AI, with its first investment being in Zambian startup Nkoloso.ai. P1 Ventures aims to leverage AI to bypass traditional infrastructure in sectors such as retail, healthcare, and the creative economy, and develop products with global reach.

Founder and general partner Mikael Hajjar highlighted P1 Ventures’ “contrarian” approach to VC investment in Africa, stating that the firm invests in underdogs and goes off the beaten path. The firm seeks out unique opportunities and has made investments in Francophone Africa markets, including Algeria, Morocco, and Ivory Coast, which have emerged as the most well-funded startups in their respective countries. P1 Ventures characterizes itself as multistage and has made investments in various stages of expansion, thanks to the partners’ institutional track record and their active involvement in assisting companies with investors, talent, and expansion strategy. The firm’s portfolio businesses have secured 35 times more follow-on money for every dollar invested, according to P1 Ventures.

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