AI-focused VC reaches first close on $50m software fund

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Enterprise capital agency P1 Ventures has accomplished the primary $25m shut of its $50m second fund, which can give attention to constructing African software program companies with “regional and international potential”.

Co-founded in 2020 by Mauritanian Mikael Hajjar, who beforehand held roles at Areva, Google and Zum, and Hisham Halbouny, beforehand of Man Capital and EFG Hermes, the agency invests throughout sectors together with fintech, e-commerce, healthtech, software program as a service (Saas) and synthetic intelligence (AI). 

“As far I do know, I’m the primary Mauritanian who’s ever launched a fund. Coming from a comparatively small economic system evokes us at P1 Ventures to go off the crushed path and again the underdogs. We love formidable African founders that construct services and products addressing a regional, if not international, buyer base,” Hajjar stated. 

Since launch, P1 Ventures says it has invested in 29 early-stage corporations throughout 10 nations, together with Cash Fellows in Egypt and Reliance Well being in Nigeria. 

The agency’s inaugural funding was in “super-app” Yassir in Algeria, which affords ride-hailing and last-mile supply and which not too long ago introduced the closing of a $150m Sequence B funding spherical. Extra not too long ago, P1 Ventures led a seed spherical for Gameball, a software program firm “gamifying” loyalty and buyer retention.

P1’s advisory committee contains Bernard Dalle, a founding staff member of Index Ventures, and Emil Michael, former chief enterprise officer at Uber.

AI focus

The agency says it’s betting on Africa adopting AI to leapfrog legacy infrastructure, significantly in sectors resembling agriculture and FMCG retail. 

“Simply as cellular cash in Africa leapfrogged debit and bank card infrastructure, AI can construct high-fidelity knowledge and improve the time-to-value proposition to rework sectors,” the agency stated. 

Certainly one of its investments, Nkoloso, gathers knowledge and retains monitor of agricultural land utilizing satellite tv for pc imagery and AI. The corporate offers a variety of purposes, together with monitoring crop acreage and yields for credit score and insurance coverage underwriting, in addition to calculating the worth of timber and carbon credit. 

In FMGC, the agency has invested in a Senegalese startup which makes use of pc imaginative and prescient, geolocation and conversational AI applied sciences to assemble and analyse knowledge for manufacturers and distributors. 

The investor says it might be expanded to different industries resembling healthcare, client electronics distribution and the inventive economic system.

P1 additionally says it’s utilizing AI to supply offers and help its investing staff.

“Whereas AI is a big alternative for the continent, it might probably additionally speed up the distribution and potential of enterprise capital, if used strategically by traders with deep data, serving to the agency have even larger attain in a area the place info and knowledge are notoriously scarce.” 


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