iYa Ventures (“iYa”) is an investment fund whose mission is to provide strategic and financial resources to early-stage companies providing goods or services to under-served consumer groups in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on the growing needs of the rising middle class in the Ghanaian, Nigerian and Ethiopian markets. They further encourage the effective use of technology among Africa’s entrepreneurs.
Their team comprises professionals with expertise in private equity, law, and media. Their investment committee comprises the Diaspora with significant experience investing across a range of industries in Africa. Their ambition is to use this experience to deliver top-quartile returns by investing growth capital in companies that positively benefit local communities and the environment.
A sample of the deals they have worked on individually (pre-formation) includes:
- Bharti Airtel’s $9bn acquisition of Zain’s African telecom assets
- Market research for Kingdom Africa Management (formerly Kingdom Zephyr) a pan-African private equity investment with over $300M AUM
- The creation of Ethiopia’s Commodities Exchange
- Safaricom’s $3bn IPO
- Formation of Nigeria’s premier luxury clothing e-commerce site
- A British tabloid’s entry into Nigeria’s publishing industry
iYa makes investments in ventures where they can exercise significant influence, with the aim of delivering moderate capital growth and sustainable return over the long term.
Although sector agnostic, the Fund has domain expertise in consumer credit and finance, workforce recruitment and staffing solutions, creative industries (digital media & design), hospitality and education. The fund’s target markets are Ghana, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, where they have investee companies, local expertise and partners on the ground.
The Fund will be managed by iYa Ventures Management, a minority and woman owned advisory company headquartered in New York. iYa has a presence in Accra, Lagos, Washington, D.C. and Toronto.
iYa’s mission is to identify Africa’s most promising technology-enabled businesses. They invest for financial returns and positive social impact.