Yemi Lalude, a principal at Granite Global Ventures, plans to leave the firm to raise a $75 million venture fund focused on development opportunities in Africa, PEHub.com.
The fund will focus on Nigeria and South Africa, two of Africa’s fastest growing economies. Lalude expects to work with a wide variety of high-growth businesses that already have product and revenue. The fund will not focus on technology.
The managing directors of Granite Global Ventures have been supportive of Lalude’s move and have promised to personally invest in his fund, according to sources. Lalude would not say what kinds of LPs he expects to target to raise the fund or when he fund-raising will begin.
Few venture funds have taken advantage of the opportunities in Africa. Venture firms have invested $900 million in 247 companies in Africa over the last five years, according to Thomson Financial (publisher of PEHub.com).
Even firms that are expanding across worldwide are not hurrying to get to the continent. “Africa is something we’re going to pay attention to,” says Draper Fisher Jurvetson Managing Director Don Wood. “South Africa might make the most sense. Tim Draper went there several years ago and was very impressed. He even bought some land there.” Still, DFJ has no plans to open an affiliate anywhere in Africa.