Farukh Kitchlew | Feb 19, 2024 | 0
Saviu Ventures reaches €12 million first close of second fund Saviu II
Saviu Ventures, a key player in Francophone Africa’s Venture Capital industry, finished the initial phase of its second fund, Saviu II, securing €12 million from private investors—European and African entrepreneurs, HNWI, and Family Offices. Building on the success of Saviu I (€10 million), already invested in promising African startups, Saviu II aims to back more talented tech entrepreneurs in Africa, especially in Francophone regions. The fund seeks additional investors for its final phase.
Established in 2018, Saviu Ventures is headed by Benoit Delestre (Partner) with over 15 years of entrepreneurial experience, including selling two Fintech companies. Samuel Touboul (Partner) brings more than 10 years of Venture Capital and Private Equity expertise in Europe and Africa. Cynthia Mandjek (Investment Manager), formerly associated with Eurazeo and Orange Ventures, is also part of the team. With a team of over 7 investors and operators, they operate in Abidjan, Dakar, and Paris.
Like Saviu I, Saviu Ventures II’s €12 million will back African early-stage startups from Seed to Series A. While they’re open to various sectors, they usually invest in Tech or Tech-related companies. This includes Fintech, Healthtech, Edtech, ClimateTech, and E-commerce.
Saviu I illustrates the “Seed and Build” strategy well. Launched in 2018, it invested in 12 startups, mainly from Francophone Africa (82%). Notably:
- Anka (formerly Afrikrea). A leading SaaS and e-commerce platform for African vendors. Saviu I still holds a 20% stake even after a recent USD 3.4m investment from the IFC.
- Julaya. A BtoB neobank in Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Benin, seeded by Saviu I and still supported by them. It raises the largest capital round in Ivory Coast in 2022 (USD 5m).
- Zanifu. A Kenyan inventory financing platform completed a USD 11.2m financing round in 2023. Saviu remains a significant minority shareholder with a 15% stake.
- Lapaire. A tech-enabled affordable eyewear retailer in multiple African countries recently closed a EUR 3.0m capital round with I&P. Saviu I still owns a 22% stake.
- Paps. The largest e-logistics startup in Senegal, now expanding to Ivory Coast and Benin, has Saviu I as a significant minority shareholder.
As part of the initial phase, Saviu II and its management company secured their license from the Mauritius Financial Markets Authority (FSC). This positions Saviu Ventures as one of the scarce independent and fully regulated Venture Capital Fund management firms in Francophone West Africa. Saviu II plans to invest between EUR 500k to EUR 3.0m, often taking a significant but minority stake. Furthermore, their hands-on approach defines Saviu Ventures, where they’re deeply involved in supporting a limited number of promising startups in various aspects, from business growth to recruitment, global expansion, and fundraising.
Benoit Delestre, Partner at Saviu Ventures, commented on Saviu’s achievements:
“Reaching the first close of Saviu II and obtaining our License from regulatory authorities is a recognition of all the work that has been done in the past five years, building the track record of Saviu I and the brand name of Saviu Ventures in the Francophone Africa region. We are now ready to support a new generation of talented entrepreneurs within the Tech industry, side by side as we’ve always done”