Goodwell Investments, an impact investor, and Oxfam Novib, a Dutch foundation and Oxfam International affiliate, have established Pepea, a $21.7 million fund to finance early-stage startups and SMEs in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.
According to Goodwell, who posted the announcement on its website, the fund will offer venture debt with a focus on mezzanine finance, a type of debt that can be converted into equity.
Ethiopian startups and SMEs, along with those in Kenya and Uganda, will benefit from the fund’s investments in sustainable agriculture, energy, clean mobility, logistics, and waste management sectors.
As per TechCrunch’s report on the development Pepea plans to invest in high-impact tech-enabled businesses that combine technology with traditional brick-and-mortar operations.
The fund will support businesses in their first one to five years of operation, which are generating revenues but have not yet raised capital. Goodwell Investments, which will manage the fund’s operations and help develop its portfolio, said that it would ensure startups have the right “structures and systems” in place, preparing them for their first funding rounds.
Ethiopian startups will be able to access initial investments ranging from $100,000 to $500,000, with follow-on investments of up to $1 million available from Goodwell’s funds.
Both Goodwell Investments and Oxfam have a presence in Ethiopia.
Goodwell Investments launched its first fund in 2007 and has since provided equity funding to more than 20 businesses, including Paga, MFS Africa, Sendy, Max.ng, and Good Nature Agro.
Pepea is the latest fund catering to Ethiopian startups. At the beginning of this year, a Tokyo-based venture capital firm Inclusion Japan (ICJ) in partnership with the early-stage startup investor Kazana Fund, announced that it had allocated $100 million to fund startups in Ethiopia.