Global VC Flourish launches Madica, an Africa-focused program to support pre-seed stage startups

Access to finance and lack of support systems are among the biggest challenges faced by startup founders in sub-Saharan Africa. And while venture capital and founder support programs on the continent grow, more needs to be done to address the funding, technology and social capital needs of particularly marginalized groups like female founders.

It is these shortcomings that continue to inspire the development of new programs like Madica by US venture capital firm Flourish Ventures, which hopes to ease the burden of creating startups.

Launching today, Madica is a pan-African investment program that aims to provide funding, technology support and mentorship to underrepresented founders across the continent. The industry-agnostic program targets tech startups in the pre-seed stage, where most ideas fail.

The program has set aside $6 million to invest in up to 30 African startups, each receiving up to $200,000 in return for equity, tapping into much-needed funding. The initial investment phase will last three years.

“While investment is booming on the continent, funds are often disproportionately targeted at a few well-networked entrepreneurs geared towards the most important tech hubs…Madica is independent of the sector and intends to doubling down on efforts to provide hands-on support, vast resources, network access and more. That’s why, in addition to the $6 million in investment capital, we’ve earmarked an equal amount for programmatic support,” said Manica chief Emmanuel Adegboye.

“We encourage founders from across the continent to apply to our program. We believe that Africans have an unparalleled entrepreneurial spirit, and one of Madica’s main goals is to ensure a level playing field for every African founder. “, did he declare.

Madica said it also wants to reach underserved markets on the continent, outside of the well-established hubs of Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. This is part of its efforts to ensure pan-African reach by supporting local and female founders.

To be eligible for the program, founders must be working on their idea full-time, have a minimum viable product, and have received little or no institutional funding. Application and admission to the program will be on a rolling basis.

Madica also partners with AfriLabs, Pariti, Africa Early Stage Investor Summit, CELO Foundation and Rising Tide to identify entrepreneurs to support.

Participating founders will be paired with mentors, including Asphalt & Ink partner Isis Nyong’o; Idris Saliu, co-founder of Ceviant Finance, and Wendy Hoffman, legal counsel for Capital at The Delta.

“Madica is an investment in the African venture capital ecosystem, with the audacious goal of creating broader systemic change. Through Madica, we intend to develop a cadre of mentors, create world-class programming, attract follow-on capital, and leverage Flourish’s global presence to expand the reach of local networks. These will ultimately benefit other participants in the ecosystem – startups, investors and policy makers,” said Ameya Upadhyay, partner at Flourish Ventures, an early-stage fintech venture capitalist whose portfolio includes Nigerian 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 gain more media attention,” Upadhyay said.

Ryan H. Bowman