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Unicorn founders-backed Norrsken holds $110m first close for fund targeting African tech

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Norrsken Foundation has held a $110m first close on $200m-targeting Norrsken22 to invest in Africa’s new tech giants.

$65m of the funding came from 30 unicorn founders including Olugbenga Agboola of Flutterwave, Niklas Zennström of Skype, Jacob de Geer of iZettle, Niklas Östberg of Delivery Hero, Carl Manneh of Mojang, Sebastian Knutsson of King and Willard Ahdritz of Kobalt Music.

Norrsken22 is also backed by SEB Pension Foundation and other family offices.

The firm said the vehicle will back businesses in fintech, edtech, medtech and market-enabling solutions, aiming to deliver top quartile returns and drive positive impact across Africa.

The Norrsken Foundation was founded by Klarna co-founder Niklas Adalberth and Hans Otterling, partner at Northzone, with an investment team led by Natalie Kolbe, previous global head of private equity at Actis in South Africa.

It said it will reinvest its portion of the capital generated by the fund back into supporting African entrepreneurship.

Adalberth said, “Africa has a population of 1.2billion, where 60% are below 25 years old. In the next decade, this young, digital-first generation will change not only the future of Africa but of the world.”

Zennström, member of the Norrsken 22 unicorn board, said, “Technology is already transforming economies across the African continent on a massive scale. Enabling a new generation of African founders is one of the greatest investment opportunities of our time.”

Zennström is also the founder of London-based venture capital firm Atomico. CNBC reported in November that it had almost finished raising a new $1.2bn fund which would be split into a $400m early-stage fund and an $800m late-stage investment fund.

The firm had raised five funds to date with Atomico V closed on $820m  in 2020.

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