- US Ambassador to Kenya Margaret Whitman led the launch.
- The project aims at infusing technology into businesses in Africa.
- It will be led by Lyndsay Handler.
- Other partners include tech-driven organizations.
A new venture to transform the African startup ecosystem has been launched in Nairobi, Kenya.
Dubbed Delta40, the new venture aims to increase income and tackle climate change in African nations by building and investing in technology-driven ventures.
Speaking during the launch of the new venture recently, US Ambassador to Kenya Margaret Whitman said that with the pioneering mix of talent, technology, capital, and hands-on support, the Delta40 team will provide African founders and startups an avenue of innovating to solve the biggest problems.
Delta40 focuses on technology-driven energy, agriculture, and mobility engagements led by diverse, experienced founders.
In addition to capital, Delta40 acts as a co-founder, providing fast, iterative product testing, technology brokering, early-stage commercialization, and working side-by-side to increase the speed of venture building.
Delta40 secured early funding and strategic support from Autodesk Foundation and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), a collective action platform partnered with The Rockefeller Foundation, IKEA Foundation, and Bezos Earth Fund, leading climate tech law firm Wilson Sonisi, as well as government, private sector, and finance institutions.
Innovation and climate crisis in Africa
Delta40 Co-Founder and Managing Partner Lyndsay Handler said by 2100, 40 percent of the world’s population will live in Africa, which presents an incredible opportunity— and imperative— to invest in entrepreneurs on the ground developing life-changing climate innovations.
“We are launching the Delta40 Venture Studio to connect Africa and female founders with the technology, talent, capital and leadership support they need to build successful companies and thrive. Together with our founders, we aim to build a portfolio of transformative ventures across this important continent that improves lives, amplify the entrepreneurial ecosystem and protect the planet for generations to come,” said Handler.
Steering the project
Handler will lead Delta40.
She has two decades of leadership, operations and startup experience growing ventures in 15 countries across the continent.
The Delta40 team deeply understands how to navigate challenges and succeed in Africa’s booming tech scene.
Handler previously led clean energy company Fenix International through pan-African expansion with MTN, which was acquired in 2018 by ENGIE, the French multinational utility company.
Through Delta40, she aims to use her considerable knowledge to help other entrepreneurs scale their ventures with organic growth or strategic corporate partnerships and acquisitions.
Delta40 benefits from the support of Factor[e] Ventures, an organization of venture builders and pre-seed investors.
They collaborate on sourcing Founders, developing theses, brokering technology, and providing a post-investment support platform that adds value to portfolio companies as they grow.
Morgan DeFoort from Factor[e] Ventures said although only 3 percent of global carbon emissions come from Africa, more than 60% of African households will be affected by climate change if we do not act.
A decade of investing in energy, agriculture, mobility, and water innovations in emerging markets has affirmed that there is a great opportunity at the formation stage to support local and diverse founders as they connect their technologies and markets.
“Factor[e] Ventures is proud to launch Delta40 to scale our ability to identify, test, invest in and grow technology-driven ventures leading the fight against climate change in this important market,” DeFoort said.
Delta40’s unique approach leverages the momentum of a record year for African tech startups, which raised a total of $6.5b (+8% YoY).
However, investment still lags in diverse founders and key sectors such as energy, agriculture and mobility.
This gap creates a favourable investment environment that is further strengthened by untapped tech talent resources, an increasingly friendly regulatory environment, and exponential population growth.
Delta40 is already building six ventures led by experienced founders and is actively evaluating new founders and venture ideas.
Handler added that the new venture studio model can dramatically increase the speed and success of innovation from idea to scale to exit.
“We welcome entrepreneurs and other partners with a shared mission to build with us,” she said.
Boost for African tech builders
Delta40 is a new venture studio that invests in and builds technology-driven energy, agriculture, and mobility ventures led by diverse, experienced founders.
Based in Kenya, with operations in Nigeria, Delta40 works side by side with African and female founders to develop and scale disruptive innovation to increase incomes and tackle climate change.
The dedicated, experienced studio team provides hands-on support with technology, talent, fundraising, and on-the-ground support to accelerate ventures from idea to implementation.
Delta40 is a studio at Factor[e] Ventures, a team of venture builders and pre-seed investors.
Both organizations collaborate on sourcing founders, thesis development, techno-economic analysis and post-investment support to provide value to portfolio companies as they grow.
Factor[e] Ventures invests in and supports early-stage technology companies working in energy, agriculture, water, and mobility in emerging markets.
With ten years of experience, over 30 companies supported and multiple successful companies scaled and exited, Factor[e] is known for its approach of technology brokering, hands-on investing, and risk tolerance at the seed stage.
They focus on bringing affordable, reliable, and sustainable solutions to underserved communities in emerging markets, where these basic needs are often unmet.
By providing funding, mentorship, and technical expertise, Factor[e] Ventures aims to accelerate the growth of innovative companies that can positively impact people’s lives while generating economic returns.
Speaking during the launch, Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet’s (GEAPP) Eric Wanless said investing in innovation is key to driving economic development and solving climate change.
“GEAPP is proud to support Delta40 and the venture studio model, which drives innovation and creates skilled jobs and sustainable livelihoods across emerging economies.
This initiative will support African startups and entrepreneurs in their mission to deliver and scale technology that helps local entrepreneurs thrive while developing clean energy solutions that protect the planet,” said Wanless.
On his part, Autodesk Foundation Managing Director Jean Shia said that the Autodesk Foundation backs innovations with the potential to transform industries to be more sustainable, resilient and equitable.
“We have supported Factor[e] since 2017 and are thrilled to see its innovative model expand to include the launch of a venture studio that sets a new bar for cultivating entrepreneurs.
YOU CAN ALSO READ: Zipline unveils P2, a high-tech, autonomous delivery drone
We invest for impact, and are confident that Delta40’s blend of operating experience in Africa, technology expertise, and commitment to investing in diverse founders will successfully accelerate African startups and their life-changing climate innovations,” said Shia.