In a pivotal step towards fostering climate innovation in Africa, the Catalyst Fund, a pre-seed VC fund and accelerator, has announced the first closing of over 20% of its $40 million fund target. Esteemed investors such as FSD Africa, FSDAi, Cisco Foundation, USAID Prosper Africa, and tech investor Andrew Bredenkamp have contributed to this milestone.
With the backing of JPMorgan Chase & Co and the Global Environmental Facility, Catalyst Fund not only provides financial support but also offers dedicated impact measurement and research to climate innovators. Its mission extends to sharing insights, facilitating partnerships via its Ecosystem Hub, and driving climate resilience innovation across the continent.
The fund's objective is to support 40 pre-seed startups, particularly focusing on mission-driven local and women founders. Catalyst Fund's commitment goes beyond the initial stage, as it plans to offer follow-on capital to startups in their Seed and Series A rounds, bridging a critical funding gap for climate ventures in Africa and positioning them for further growth-stage funding at Series B.
Anne-Marie Chidzero, Chief Investment Officer at FSDAi, emphasized the potential of Africa to lead in climate solutions and mentioned their collaboration with Catalyst Fund as part of a $19.5 million investment package to support innovative, made-in-Africa climate-resilient solutions. Maelis Carraro, Managing Partner of Catalyst Fund, highlighted their unique approach of blending equity investments with hands-on venture building to support startups.
Founded in 2016, Catalyst Fund evolved from a philanthropic startup accelerator to a venture capital fund, having supported numerous startups across emerging markets, particularly in Africa. Their commitment to fostering climate-resilient ecosystems and impactful ventures in Africa has garnered support from investors like the Cisco Foundation.