Morocco-based Outlierz Ventures, an early-stage VC fund backed by private investors from Silicon Valley, Middle East and Africa has made five investments in fast growing tech-enabled companies across five different markets.
The startups include, Morocco’s WaystoCap, Kenya’s Sokowatch, UK’s Asoko Insight, France’s TousFacteurs, and Egypt’s MaxAB, The startups received investment tickets range between $50k and $500k in Seed stage and Pre-Series A companies.
“We see tremendous opportunities at the intersection of Technology, Africa’s young and fast-growing populations, and the continent economies. Our mission is to back extraordinary founders that leverage technology to transform African traditional economies,” said Kenza Lahlou, co-founder and Managing Partner at Outlierz Ventures.
The fund invests in tech-enabled companies solving a fundamental problem across key industries in Africa, which include fintech, insurtech, agritech, healthtech and logistics. The fund focuses primarily on the most dynamic African ecosystems, namely, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt and Morocco, and is starting to explore untapped Francophone and West Africa ecosystems where it plans to play an active role.
The fund position itself as a bridge between Francophone and Anglophone African market with the objective to help tech companies access markets and scale from South and East Africa into North and West Africa – or the other way around. WaystoCap (Morocco), Africa focused B2B marketplace that helps SMEs import and export products securely and reliably, using technology to structure the value chain of international trade in Africa. After graduating from YCombinator, WaystoCap raised $ 3M in Seed and grew from 6 to 33 employees in less than two years with headquarters in Morocco and offices in Benin and Burkina Faso.
· Sokowatch (Kenya), is reinventing consumer goods retail value chain in the informal segment across East Africa. The platform enables small shop owners to order products via SMS or mobile app, pay via mobile money and get delivered for free the next day. Sokowatch raised $ 2M from Silicon Valley and Africa investors and is accelerating its African expansion with a solid monthly growth.
· Asoko Insight (UK/Anglophone Africa), is a platform that structures data on private companies and key industries in Africa, considered as the most comprehensive database of African private companies for due diligence and business development. Asoko covers more than 7 markets across the continent.
· TousFacteurs (France), is a B2B last-mile delivery company, based in Paris and co-founded by an African diaspora founder. TousFacteurs addresses the growing logistics needs of merchants and international carriers such as DHL by enabling them to leverage independent cyclists to deliver packages at unbeatable prices and time slots via an optimized tech-enabled platform.
· MaxAB (Egypt), is a B2B ecommerce marketplace that connects food and grocery retailers to suppliers in Egypt’s most underserved geographies, using a tech platform to make on-demand and predictive micro-distribution directly to small shop owners. The company is co-founded by the former General Manager of Careem in Egypt and the former operation officer of Aramex.
“We are excited about the opportunities created by the tech revolution for the African continent, both in terms of economic value creation and in terms of accelerating the continent’s development. Africa is definitely the next frontier to VC investments and we are eager to contribute to proving it,” explained Ali Bensouda, co-founder and General Partner at Outlierz Ventures.
Some of the top investors backing Outlierz Ventures include Michael Seibel, CEO of YCombinator, 500 startups, Hicham Oudghiri, and Joel Sibrac, former President of the BMCI bank in Morocco, and Bank of the West in San Francisco,part ofBNP Paribas Group