GOODsoil VC, an Africa-focused early-stage venture capital firm headed by a diverse team of entrepreneurial investors, makes true on its mission to drive financial inclusion across the continent with an injection of $940,000 seed capital in a Ghanaian fintech company, Zeepay.
Founded in 2017 by Charmaine Hayden, Orla Enright, Ashley Thompson-MacCarthy, and Richard Mensah, GOODsoil comprises 50 per cent female and 75 per cent black partners, all young, serial entrepreneurs intent on becoming catalysts of economic growth for minority founders across Africa.
“There are clear barriers to entry for tech startups to scale, and our vision is to level the playing field. We go by the dictum that talent is evenly distributed; opportunities are not,” said Hayden.
According to Enright, the company is the perfect fit for entrepreneurs, markets, and industries that may typically be overlooked by other VC firms.
Zeepay focuses on digital rails to connect digital assets. The company has a footprint in more than 20 African markets and, in April 2020, became the first indigenous company to be awarded the Electronic Money Issuer licence to operate as a mobile financial services company by the Bank of Ghana, the regulator of banking and financial services.
GOODsoil’s investment will enable Zeepay to continue to scale and roll out its services across the continent and extend its global reach by launching in the United Kingdom in 2021.
“We are delighted to have GOODsoil on board,” said Zeepay co-founder and Managing Director, Andrew Takyi-Appiah.
“We believe with their strong brokerage background, with a leading Ghanaian brokerage firm, Obsidian Achernar in their portfolio, we will be able to attract good pricing on foreign exchange for our wholesale clients.”
GOODsoil’s partnership with Zeepay proved that investors can see significant returns in African startups, added Takyi-Appiah.
“In the deal, two initial shareholders at Zeepay exited from an initial investment of about $24,000 in 2015 to $940,000 at the 2020 exit, making it the first of the kind that a Ghanaian investor has exited a local startup with such significant gains.”
Based in London and Accra, with a portfolio as diverse as its team, GOODsoil VC aims to fund at least 50 startups in the next five years, while also building long-term relationships with investors who are equally passionate about tech innovation, early-stage companies, and investment in Africa.
“GOODsoil will remain bullish on Africa for the foreseeable future, as we scale our portfolio and invest in new exceptional startups. We look forward to shortly confirming a $67.5m fund we are currently raising,” disclosed Hayden.
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