Madica, a Program to Boosts African Startups with $6M Investment Initiative

Madica, an investment initiative launched by US-based investor Flourish Ventures, is gearing up to bolster its support for pre-seed startups across Africa. With plan to fund up to 10 ventures by the end of year, intensifying its investment drive following the closure of three initial deals.

According to report, Madica unveiled plans for accelerated investment in the upcoming year, with a target of backing up to 30 startups by the end of its three-year program. Launched in late 2022 and active since mid-last year, this initiative is poised to make significant strides in nurturing African entrepreneurship.

Announced today, the program’s inaugural beneficiaries include Kola Market, a B2B platform founded by Marie-Reine Seshie to empower SMEs by facilitating sales growth and streamlining business operations. Additionally, Madica has extended support to GoBEBA, a Kenyan on-demand retailer specializing in household goods, co-founded by Lesley Mbogo and Peter Ndiang’ui, as well as Newform Foods (formerly Mzansi Meat), a South African venture pioneering cultivated meat, founded by Brett Thompson and Tasneem Karodia.

Madica’s expansion plans the inclusion of more startups, with a keen focus on emerging markets such as Tunisia, Morocco, Uganda, DRC, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. This strategic approach aligns with its objective of reaching diverse sectors and geographies, particularly those underserved by traditional funding avenues. Notably, Madica aims to champion startups led by underrepresented and underfunded founders, including ventures helmed by women entrepreneurs or featuring women in leadership roles, a demographic that has historically faced barriers to accessing venture capital.

Emphasizing the importance of local expertise and contextual understanding, Emmanuel Adegboye, Head of Madica, highlighted the program’s mission to empower entrepreneurs who possess firsthand insights into Africa’s challenges. By championing diverse voices and perspectives, Madica seeks to demonstrate the viability of inclusive entrepreneurship and foster a more representative startup ecosystem on the continent.

I believe that with the number of challenges that exist across the continent, it’s the entrepreneurs who are in those markets that understand the context and have lived experiences around those issues that are best positioned to solve those challenges. The point of the Madica program is to actually prove and show that it’s possible to find founders that are building good businesses but don’t fit the usual homogeneous group,” said Emmanuel Adegboye, Head of Madica.

Madica invests $200,000 upfront to accepted ventures, which participate in an 18-month program tailored to their specific needs. With $6 million earmarked for investment in scalable tech-enabled businesses and an equal amount allocated for program operations, Madica operates under a flexible framework, eschewing standardized investment terms in favor of bespoke agreements that cater to each startup’s unique requirements.

Adeboye emphasizes the program’s adaptability to accommodate founders at different stages of their entrepreneurial journey. He said;

“Our programming is both very personalized, but also structured in some ways because founders come into the program at different points. The personalized part of the program is super critical because we want to understand what they need and how we can best support them,” But we also recognize that at every point in time, we’re going to have at least a few companies we’re working with within the program, so we have a few parts of the program that are very structured and that cuts across every company within the portfolio.”

Adegboye is optimistic that by stimulating pre-seed investments across various African ecosystems, Madica can draw increased capital into the continent and potentially become a model for global venture capitalists seeking to expand their presence in the region. He said;

“Depending on how the program goes, there is a possibility that we will double down on it or open it up to other partners to join us and accelerate this mission.”

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