This early investor is changing business funding for women business owners in Africa in the biggest way.
Tokunboh Ishmael, a co-founder of Alitheia IDF, is said to have “the biggest ‘gender-lens’ fund in Africa,” AfroTech reported.
Ishmael has more than 20 years of experience in investing, TechCrunch noted. She launched Alitheia Capital, a private equity firm, in 2007.
Alitheia IDF is in the business of helping women owners and entities that support or directly impact women in some way.
The co-founder told TechCrunch in an interview, “We are not just addressing the imbalance of funding to female founders, but also the imbalance of products and services to ensure that women can access them,” Ishmael explained to the outlet.
Ishmael and co-founder Polo Leteka help businesses with financing, mentorship, strategic growth, access to markets, and access to talent.
“We want them to scale and help inject gender consciousness into the founding teams, the management teams, the boards, and the companies,” said Leteka.
To date, the fund has invested in JetStream, ReelFruit, SweepSouth, Chikas, Skld, Psaltry, Wemy, and Ivili Loboya, AfroTech reported.
TechCrunch reported that the investor started the fund after noticing a lack of female business ownership, even within Alitheia IDF’s portfolio.
According to the site, the investor said, “… we saw that even within our own portfolio, there was a scarcity of female owners. There was a poor representation of women in boardrooms and in management, and we felt that we could do better to diversify capital and address the issue that less than 5% of capital went to female founders.”
Alitheia IDF is valued at $100 million, TechCrunch reported. Plans for the funding are already underway.
“The $100 million just scratches the surface of the paucity of funding for female founders and companies that serve women. We anticipate that there will be other funds that will come along to further address and increase funding to these types of companies,” Ishmael said, according to AfroTech.