$200 M raised by Norrsken22 to back Africa’s future tech giants
Feb 4, 2022
Norrsken22, a new US $200 million digital growth fund backed by thirty unicorn founders, is investing in extraordinary entrepreneurs developing Africa’s emerging tech titans. Norrsken was founded in 2016 by Niklas Adalberth, one of the founders of Swedish fintech unicorn Klarna, with the goal of assisting entrepreneurs in addressing the world’s most pressing issues. Norrsken House, a co-working facility in Stockholm for over 350 impact entrepreneurs, the Norrsken Founders Fund, and Norrsken VC make up the ecosystem. In 2019, it was reported that the foundation had opened offices in Kigali, Rwanda, which it aimed to use as a basis for investing across the East and Central African area and that it had accepted 11 African businesses into the inaugural round of the Norrsken Impact Challenge. The Norrsken22 Africa Tech Growth Fund has been launched in collaboration with Hans Otterling, partner at Northzone, and an investment team led by Natalie Kolbe, former global head of private equity at Actis in South Africa, Actis colleague Ngetha Waithaka in Kenya, and Lexi Novitske, founder of Acuity Venture Partners. The fund’s initial closure of US $110 million was announced today. Thirty unicorn creators have contributed their entrepreneurial expertise and US$65 million to the fund. Olugbenga Agboola, co-founder of Flutterwave; Niklas Zennström, co-founder of Skype; Jacob de Geer, co-founder of iZettle; Niklas Stberg, co-founder of Delivery Hero; Carl Manneh, co-founder of Mojang; Sebastian Knutsson, co-founder of King; and Willard Ahdritz, co-founder of Kobalt Music are among those honoured. Norrsken22 will invest in exceptional companies and category leaders in fintech, education technology, e-health, and market-enabling solutions. The fund is committed to providing top quartile returns and will have a significant beneficial impact on Africa. Norrsken Foundation will reinvest a percentage of the funds raised by Norrsken22 towards promoting African entrepreneurship in order to help the continent’s innovation sector and a new generation of entrepreneurs thrive. “Africa has a population of 1.2 billion, where 60 percent are below 25 years old. In the next decade, this young, digital-first generation will change not only the future of Africa but of the world,” said Niklas Adalberth, founder of Norrsken Foundation. “Eyes are turning towards Africa as the next epicentre for digital disruption. Technology is enabling emerging enterprises to leapfrog legacy ways of doing business. Leaders are emerging but a lack of growth capital is holding them back,” said Hans Otterling, Norrsken22 founding partner. The pan-African investment team, based in Africa’s key tech hubs, has previously backed Africa’s fastest-growing unicorns, such as Fawry and Flutterwave, and is now focused on helping companies expand regionally and internationally, providing the support that African founders require when scaling their businesses. An advisory group of corporate executives from around the continent also supports the fund.