Factor[e] Ventures has launched a new venture studio in Nairobi, Kenya, which will focus on technology-driven energy, agriculture, and mobility businesses. Dubbed Delta40, the new venture studio aims to increase incomes and tackle climate change in Africa by building and investing in technology ventures.
In addition, Delta40 acts as a co-founder, providing fast, iterative product testing, technology brokering, early-stage commercialisation, 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.
Speaking at the launch event, US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman, highlighted the pioneering mix of talent, technology, capital, and hands-on support the Delta40 team will provide African founders and startups innovating to solve the biggest problems.
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Led by Lyndsay Holley Handler, the Delta40 team has a deep understanding of how to navigate challenges and succeed in Africa’s booming tech scene. Holley 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.
“By 2100, 40% of the world’s population will live in Africa. This presents an incredible opportunity – and imperative – to invest in entrepreneurs on the ground developing life-changing climate innovations,” said Ms Handler, Delta40 Co-Founder and Managing Partner. “We are launching the Delta40 Venture Studio to connect African and female founders with the technology, talent, capital and leadership support they need to build successful companies and thrive.”
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.
For his part, Morgan DeFoort from Factor[e] Ventures said more than 60% of African households will be affected by climate change if no action is taken.
“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,” Morgan said.
Delta40’s unique approach leverages the momentum of a record year for African tech startups, which raised a total of US$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. “After building Pan-African ventures for two decades, we are confident that the venture studio model can dramatically increase the speed and success of innovation from idea to scale to exit,” Holley Handler said.
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