Catalyst Fund Injects Funds into Six African Climate-Tech Startups

Catalyst Fund Injects Funds into Six African Climate-Tech Startups

By Staff Writer, 14 February 2024

Catalyst Fund, a pre-seed venture capital (VC) fund and accelerator, has recently injected funds into six African climate-tech startups over the past four months.

The move comes following the initial closure of its $40 million fund in September.

The fund, known for its focus on high-impact tech startups aiming to enhance the resilience of underserved communities facing climate challenges, has been actively seeking partnerships with mission-aligned founders who share its vision of fostering global opportunities and tools for individual prosperity.

Previously, Catalyst Fund primarily offered grant capital to selected startups.

However, a significant shift occurred in January 2023 when it announced a $2 million investment in 10 startups, funded by a $30 million fund anchored by the financial sector development agency FSD Africa.

With a specific focus on startups developing solutions to bolster the resilience of climate-vulnerable communities in Africa, Catalyst Fund achieved a successful initial close of its targeted $40 million fund in September of the previous year, with over 20 percent of the fund already committed.

Among the notable investments made by Catalyst Fund are Tolbi, a pan-African climate-agtech startup leveraging satellite imagery and AI to promote climate-smart agricultural practices, and NoorNation, an Egyptian startup offering decentralized solar energy and water solutions tailored for farming businesses and underserved communities.

In subsequent months, Catalyst Fund expanded its portfolio to include Thola, a South African startup streamlining access to certifications to drive climate resilience and food safety for SMEs, and Zebra CropBank, a Nigerian startup providing climate-smart solutions for smallholder farmers.

The fund also supported Scrapays, another Nigerian startup focused on waste management, empowering individuals and small businesses to establish mini-waste enterprises.

Most recently, Catalyst Fund announced its investment in Medikea, a Tanzanian startup dedicated to improving access to affordable preventative and primary healthcare solutions for marginalized communities.

Backed by prominent investors such as FSD Africa, FSDAi, Cisco Foundation, USAID Prosper Africa, and seasoned tech investor Andrew Bredenkamp, Catalyst Fund's climate-focused initiatives have gained significant traction, reflecting growing interest and support for innovative solutions addressing climate challenges across Africa.

Source: Tom Jackson / Disrupt Africa

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