Aduna launches $20m fund to invest in Northern Nigerian startups
Aduna Capital, a Nigerian venture capital firm, has announced the launch of a $20 million fund. The fund is set to allocate 55.5% of its capital to startups in Northern Nigeria, with the remaining portion divided among other regions within the country and across Africa. Notably, the fund aims to achieve 50% female representation among the startups it supports.
Surayyah Ahmad, an experienced founder who launched the E-commerce startup YDS Online in 2017 (which was acquired in 2022), is also the co-founder of Ethco, a startup assisting ethnic stores in going digital. She serves as the chairman of the Northern Founders Community. Ahmad's co-founder, Sanusi Ismaila, has been a key figure in technology innovation in Northern Nigeria, founding Colab, likely the largest innovation hub in Kaduna State.
The firm envisions contributing to the transformation of Northern Nigeria, a region home to over 100 million Nigerians. The fund also aims to redirect attention away from Lagos, which currently houses more than 80% of startups in Nigeria. This initiative reflects a broader effort to promote regional diversity and inclusivity within Nigeria's startup ecosystem.
Northern Nigeria, with a population exceeding 128 million people according to the National Bureau of Statistics in 2021, represents an enormous untapped market. This population is four times larger than Ghana's and 2.5 times greater than Kenya's, providing a substantial pool of potential customers and talent. By 2050, Nigeria is projected to become the fourth-largest country globally, with a substantial portion of this growth concentrated in the northern region. Startups in sectors such as edtech and agritech in this area are already generating over $1.2 million in bootstrapped revenue, as reported by NFC in 2023. With adequate funding and support, these startups have the potential for significant scaling, both within the continent and globally.