AFRICA: Catalyst invests $2m in climate resilience through 10 start-ups

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AFRICA: Catalyst invests $2m in climate resilience through 10 start-ups © Jen Watson/Shutterstock

The Catalyst Fund is investing $2 million in 10 start-ups in Africa. These start-ups offer climate change adaptation and resilience solutions across the African continent.

At least 10 African start-ups are benefiting from a $2 million investment. The promise is made by Catalyst, a pre-seed venture capital fund based in Nairobi, Kenya. The Catalyst Fund finances innovative solutions that promote adaptation and resilience to climate change in Africa.

Among the start-ups selected in this cohort is Bekia. The Egyptian start-up has developed a technology solution that enables waste collection. In concrete terms, companies and households can exchange waste (plastic, paper, electronics, metals, cooking oil) for a financial incentive paid into a digital wallet.

GHG reduction

For its part, Farm to Feed provides a solution to losses in the food supply chain and agricultural waste. In Kenya, the start-up is contributing to food security and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Nigeria, Farmz2U is also contributing to food security in the face of climate change by investing in sustainable agriculture. Its agro-technology solution allows “farmers to access agricultural advice (including on regenerative farming practices), affordable credit, quality and traceable inputs, and direct buyers for their crops”, says the Catalyst Fund.

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For its part, Octavia Carbon is dedicated to reducing GHGs in the atmosphere. The Kenyan start-up is building a direct air capture (DAC) facility. The captured GHGs will be sold as carbon credits to polluters. “COP27 in Egypt called for more local innovations to help communities build resilience to climate impacts. The new Catalyst Fund cohort is an example of what these innovative climate solutions could look like for the most vulnerable,” says Aaron Fu, Partner at the Catalyst Fund.

Supporting start-ups

Among the new companies benefiting from this venture capital fund are the Egyptian start-up VAIS, which invests in agritech, the Moroccan company Sand to Green, which focuses on the restoration of desert land, the Nigerian company PaddyCover, which combines digital technology with insurance, and the Senegalese company Assuraf, the Ugandan company Agro Supply and the Nigerian company Eight Medical.

Each of these 10 start-ups will get an investment of $100,000 in capital, and $100,000 in “practical support” for business creation. According to the Catalyst Fund, these start-ups will also receive capital, expert-led and “tailored” business development support, as well as direct connections to investors, innovative companies and talent networks that can help them grow. These start-ups will become part of the fund’s existing portfolio of 61 other young companies in emerging markets. In recent years, these start-ups have successfully raised $640 million.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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