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The African Business Angels Network (ABAN) and AfriLabs, a network for technology hubs and innovation centers, have launched Catalyst, a co-investment fund that offers matched funding to investments made by qualified angel investors in African growth-stage companies.

The two organisations manage a pool of funding that serves as a matching fund to encourage investment in viable startups by verified angel investors.

The initiative also supports the continent’s startup community — including hubs and angel networks — as well as increases the visibility of impact to institutional funders.

Funds from Catalyst are released after startups have received investments from angel investors that are part of an angel network registered with ABAN.

Catalyst operates a co-investment fund that matches investments from qualifying angel investors

To take advantage of the initiative, startups must register on the Catalyst platform through hubs that are members of the AfriLabs network.

After receiving investments, the performance of participating startups are reported and monitored via the Catalyst platform.

The first Catalyst co-investment fund is available.

‘Real game changer’

Commenting in the same statement ABAN president Tomi Davies said the organisation had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with AfriLabs at the hub network’s annual gathering in Dar es Salaam last year.

“Catalyst facilitates the development of these relationships as the first initiative of what we expect to be a highly valuable and long-lasting collaboration between AfriLabs and ABAN,” said Davies.

AfriLabs board chair Rebecca Enochong explains the two organisations have all recognised the need to increase early-stage funding for African founders.

“Catalyst not only does that, but it helps to structure the ecosystem, supports collaboration, and provides actionable insights into the early-stage funding landscape, all the while strengthening our hubs and our angel networks.

“As the first Pan-African programme of this type, developed by Africans, for Africans, I believe that Catalyst will be a real game changer,” added Enochong.

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