9 African climate startups get $1.8 million in investment from Catalyst Fund

February 15, 2024
2 min read
Catalyst Fund
  • Catalyst Fund, a pre-seed VC and accelerator, has invested $1.8 million in nine African early-stage climate tech startups to boost their impact and growth prospects.
  • The nine startups are Mazao Hub and Medikea (Tanzania), Earthbond, Zebra Cropbank and Scrapays (Nigeria), Keep It Cool (Kenya), NoorNation (Egypt), Thola (South Africa), and Tolbi (Senegal).

In September 2023, Catalyst Fund reached its first close, raising $8.6 million of the $40 million it hoped to secure for investments in African climate startups. The investors include FSD Africa, FSDAi, Cisco Foundation, USAID Prosper Africa, and Andrew Bredenkamp.

The Catalyst Fund, founded in 2016 and managed by BFA Global, assists startups in gaining access to capital, talent, and market opportunities. This marks the fund's second round of investments in African startups developing solutions to climate change challenges. 

In January 2023, Catalyst Fund invested $2 million in ten startups developing solutions for Africa's climate-vulnerable communities. 

Consequently, this new investment expands its portfolio to 19 companies across eight markets: Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The Catalyst Fund team will provide venture building to the startups, who will also become extensions of their teams.

These startups are tackling climate-related challenges in agriculture, healthcare, energy access, and waste management. 

According to a 2023 survey, over 110 million people in Africa were directly affected by weather, climate, and water-related hazards in 2022, resulting in over $8.5 billion worth of economic damages. 

On the investment, Maelis Carraro, Managing Partner at the Catalyst Fund, acknowledged that the models employed by the startups “directly empower farmers, healthcare providers, waste workers, and small and medium businesses to adapt to the changes brought by climate change and drive climate positive economic growth.” 

Furthermore, Maxime Bayen, Operating Partner at the Catalyst Fund, stated that "with these new investments, [Catalyst Fund] aims to continue diversifying its portfolio in models, climate adaptation sectors, and geographies."

In 2022, Catalyst Fund raised $3.5 million from FSD Africa to expand its presence and scale in Africa. Thus, it aimed to support 40 pre-seed impact ventures in Africa that are building solutions for underserved climate-vulnerable communities and provide venture-building support.

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