Sector: Sustainability, financial health, the future of work
We’re the largest organization in the world supporting impact-driven, seed-stage startups. We’ve worked with more than 1,100 entrepreneurs in 28 countries, and our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in 110 startups that have raised over $4 billion in follow-on capital.
As the largest organization in the world that invests at the seed stage, Village Capital has helped countless companies scale and succeed since it launched in 2009. In Nairobi, Village Capital lends support to accelerators and initiatives based around talent and entrepreneur support in the sub-Saharan African region, with a focus on locally relevant issues like innovation in agriculture and fintech.
More than a financial investor, Village Capital provides entrepreneurs with educational opportunities and tailored support. It selects teams to participate in sector-specific cohorts themed around topics from finance and agriculture to health innovations and the future of work. Participating founders are asked to answer the three questions “Am I solving the right problem?” “Do I have the right people and partners?” and “Am I ready to scale?” By engaging with their classmates and mentors, most business teams are able to answer these questions and adapt their strategies accordingly. Cohorts can consist of anywhere between ten and fourteen business teams. Two businesses are chosen to receive investment through a democratic process in which all teams in the cohort rank each other after every workshop using eight metrics, and the two with the highest scores at the end receive funding. Village Capital prioritizes female founders, with the result that the VilCap Investments portfolio is roughly 45 percent female-founded businesses, three times higher than the industry average.
Village Capital has helped many businesses grow, including Nigerian startup PiggyVest, a female-founded fintech company that has become a thought leader in its industry. Much of Village Capital’s work in Africa is now based around supporting other entrepreneur-support organizations across the continent, and it aims to create a more closely knit African startup ecosystem while democratizing entrepreneurship.
- Have a strong team.
We’re looking to work with teams of people who understand each other and work together efficiently and innovatively, so we prioritize groups that are able to collaborate effectively.
- Be in operation for at least a year.
We’re looking for companies with a track record around which we can strategize after a period of analysis.
- Be in a postrevenue stage and have traction.
We want businesses that have an existing product or service, and that have ideally established a customer base that they’re eager to grow.
- Be passionate about what you do.
We want founders and team members who understand the inherent urgency of entrepreneurship and are able to put in the hours to make their product or service better.
Application can be sent via
Photo by Village Capital