Ventures Platform, an early-stage venture capital fund, has announced the first close of its Ksh. 4.5 billion (USD 40 million) early-stage fund to invest in market innovations. The close was led by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), featuring new fund features participation from new and existing investors and from across Africa’s corporate and tech ecosystems.

This is including UAC Nigeria, VFD Group, Gbenga Oyebode, Shola Akinlade of Paystack, and global investors like Michael Seibel (Y Combinator) and Adam Draper. A second close of the fund is due to take place in early 2022 and will feature investment from select global Institutional Investors and DFIs.

Building upon its reputation as one of the most active early-stage investors in African tech, Ventures Platform will deepen its long-standing presence in Nigeria and West Africa. This capital injection also firmly positions it to double down on existing investments in its category-leading portfolio via subsequent rounds.

As part of a move to further deepen its expertise, Ventures Platform has also onboarded leading figures across African tech as Venture Partners. This includes Seni Sulyman, former vice president at Andela, ex-COO at Bellhop, Founder at Black Ops.

Commenting on the latest funding, Kola Aina, founder and general partner at Ventures Platform said, “Over the last six years, we’ve backed close to 70 of Africa’s most compelling tech companies, building a robust portfolio which has featured one of the largest exits our sector witnessed to date through Paystack last year. As the incredible momentum in African tech continues to build, it’s attracting unprecedented attention globally amongst traditional and institutional investors, and we’re delighted to welcome aboard some world-class, strategic stakeholders to our fund.”

To date, Ventures Platform’s portfolio has raised over Ksh. 56.5 billion (USD 500 million) in follow-on rounds, and as the investor moves to consolidate its leading market position, this marks its first official institutional fund with previous capital resulting from syndicate and proprietary capital funds.