P1 Ventures, a Seed VC fund has completed the first $25 million close of its second fund worth $50 million. The pan-African firm will channel these funds to grow startups in e-commerce, fintech, insurtech, health tech, and SaaS and AI industries.
Founded in 2020 by Mikael Hajjar and Hisham Halbouny, P1’s inaugural investment was in Yassir in Algeria – a super-app operating in Francophone Africa. Towards powering its expansion across North Africa, Yassir recently announced the closing of $150 million in a Series B funding round.
According to Noureddine Tayebi co-founder and CEO of Yassir, “P1 Ventures was one of the most hands-on Seed investors we had: Mikael helped us source GM candidates to expand, recruit a Strategy Lead from Lyft, introduced us to Emil Michael, the former Chief Business Officer at Uber, and most importantly reinvested in every single round including our last Series B.”
Since it started operations, P1 Ventures has invested in 29 early-stage companies across 10 countries including Money Fellows in Egypt, and Reliance Health in Nigeria.
More recently, P1 Ventures led the Seed round of Gameball, a software company gamifying loyalty and customer retention with an international client base across 70 countries.
P1 Ventures describes itself as “a high-conviction investor that intentionally focuses on a small number of exceptional African founders and companies building transformational software businesses with regional and global potential”.
Concerning investing in Africa, P1’s Co-founder Hisham said: “Every globally minded asset allocator has been actively seeking exposure to the continent. We’ve witnessed similar inflection points in other regions, such as Europe and Latin America, where leading VC firms like Index and Kaszek Ventures have emerged,”
P1 has also identified an opportunity for the pan-African region to power legacy infrastructure with AI, especially for sectors such as agriculture and FMCG retail. Their interest in AI-powered infrastructures has led to an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program. P1 Ventures also seeded Senegalese startup Nkoloso, which gathers data and keeps track of vast tracts of agricultural land using satellite imagery and AI.
Hajjar, P1’s Co-founder stated that: “We believe that AI will be Africa’s next big leapfrog opportunity. So when you think about how fintech transformed the continent and allowed it to disrupt the banking sector, we believe AI will do the same with sectors like retail, healthcare, and the creative economy,”
P1 Ventures is embedding AI in its own workflow to source deals and augment its investing team, boosting the firm reach in a region where information and data are very scarce.