CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS

An enhanced economic narrative for Africa

Your partners in innovation

We are Africa’s largest venture development company, leading corporate-startup collaboration to create value for everyone. We’re building stronger markets, with more choice and better solutions for consumers, a thriving talent pool, healthier economies, and more resilient businesses.

We offer corporates a de-risked investment model of innovation, alongside opportunities to test concepts and learn with novel technologies across new markets. Our goal is to be the best growth engine for founders across Africa and beyond, and the innovation partner of choice for investors, government, and corporates.

FFA exists to deliver global scale returns, and we’re on track to deliver 140+ businesses over 5 years.

THE COVID-19 CRISIS

Navigating a global pandemic

Now is the right time to invest in tech and innovation — to survive the pandemic, and to recover from it stronger than before. Many are doing just that, in Africa and across the world.

Technology — and the solutions that leverage tech —will dramatically speed up the course of pandemic relief and recovery, as well as deliver strategically progressive and human-centred answers to new challenges.

our response to COVID-19  →
EXPERTS IN AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

De-risking internal innovation
through the startup economy

Due to misconceptions, nervousness and a lack of understanding, exciting and exponentially valuable opportunities to capitalise on the African startup ecosystem sit dormant and unrealised. Through our unique proposition, we transform them into a blaze of growth and prosperity.

Expert leadership

We understand the nuances of seed investment and business building in Africa. Our senior leadership team has worked extensively with entrepreneurs across Africa and South Asia for decades.

Before establishing FFA, they grew 76 startups to a portfolio value of $120mm, across all key sectors. Under their accelerated growth approach these businesses experienced average annual revenue growth of 151% between their first and second years of operation, and received over $5mm in early-stage seed funding.

Proven success

We’re both locally-minded and globally connected, sourcing entrepreneurs, activating investments, working with governments to unlock regulatory challenges, and recruiting talent and resources from across the world.

We provide a combination of capital and technical support, helping us build the best businesses, attract the best founders, and drive scale across our growing portfolio.

A fresh approach

Founders Factory Africa operates with a different model to a consultancy or a fund. We’re a full-time team of startup specialists, complimenting any existing in-house corporate innovation entities or corporate venture funds, collaborating and adding value rather than competing for the same outcomes.

As an independent entity, we take the risks that our corporate and other investors can’t — on their behalf. Not burdened with mounds of paperwork and approval processes, we are fast and agile — and have risk built-in into our returns model.

Searching for an innovation partner?

If you are eager to drive innovation inside and outside your corporate, or want to unlock dormant IP to build exciting and commercially sustainable ventures, or you simply want to solve your challenges in a faster and leaner way, speak to us to get the journey started. Or better still — visit us to see the action in person.

get in touch →

“Seed capital and business development programmes like FFA are needed to meet the fast-paced demand for technology across all sectors of business, and the effect it can have on improving growth. Standard Bank, being an African business, is committed to participating in this vital element of the economy.”

Larry McCarthy
Head of Strategic Investments and Alliances at Standard Bank
PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Working with FFA

There are multiple ways for corporates to gain value from collaborating with, investing in, and learning from startups and scaling ventures.

Corporate and other investors

Through FFA, our partners invest capital in Africa’s startup economy to benefit from innovative technological transformation, and receive commercial, impact, and cultural returns on their investments.

Not all ventures will succeed, and that’s OK.

Those that do will deliver significant returns and impact for all stakeholders.

Tailored investment models

We’ve developed a range of investment models to cater to the different priorities and strategic needs of individual corporate and government entities — from investment into FFA  (joining Standard Bank Group and Netcare), to forming Joint Ventures with FFA in the corporates’ specific select sector and/or market. We design our investment and corporate engagement models in collaboration with each corporate investor, based on their technical and innovation capabilities, market footprint, and commercial priorities.

Some of the investment opportunities available:

Create your own portfolio

Portfolio Partners co-build and co-scale specific number of businesses with FFA in a chosen sector or market each year

Build a pipeline of high quality early stage startups

Exposure Partners work with FFA to scout for businesses in select corporate sector, piloting with those most strategically aligned to your priorities.

Co-design a program and access a different venture maturity stage

From early-stage (pre Series A) to mature-stage businesses (Series A+). Directly invest in select businesses that are strategically aligned to your corporate mandate.

Further invest in select ventures

Through Africa’s Seed Fund - Buy into Africa’s seed stage ecosystem with a fund dedicated deploying capital across the FFA portfolio and other external opportunities.

Benefits for our partners

Commercial benefits
  • We believe in scale, and that African startups will deliver the financial returns that we have seen in other parts of the world
  • Our returns model is based on reaching ‘unicorn’ level startup valuations in the next 8-10 years
  • Reap market-rate returns on future exits: corporate investors own a % of the portfolio of companies.
  • Benefits to the bottom-line: through delivering new products and services to customers and markets that were previously inaccessible.
  • Buy-out startups at reasonable cost: opportunities from companies that were scaled or built within FFA, before they reach hyper-scale maturity and valuation.
  • In addition to the commercial returns, our corporate investors benefit from technical and operational innovation, as well as product and cultural advantages.
Non-commercial
  • Learn from our culture and ways of working: rapidly and iteratively deliver startups with solutions aligned to market opportunities
  • Corporate Cross-Collaboration:  create propositions with complementary corporates in our network
  • Experiment and test concepts, light-touch test new technology and products, through pilots & partnerships
  • Access the new generation of world-class, specialist talent
  • Access global networks and ecosystems:  leverage existing capabilities and economies-of-scale to spur growth for portfolio ventures
  • Drive brand and credibility:  become a corporate leader in innovation and tech
  • Attend our Showcase events and startup Kick-off weeks
Benefits For Government, Donor Agencies, and Public Sector Partners
  • Delivering Impact: FFA addresses the most pressing needs across emerging markets in Africa, and populations that are most vulnerable to pandemic repercussions
  • Tangible evaluation: through impact monitoring and metrics and market insights
  • Access to a network of private sector investors, as partners to the public sector stakeholders and follow-on funding to deliver sustainable results

Non-Investment Partners

You don’t have to invest capital in FFA or our portfolio companies to work with us, and to reap the benefits of accessing Africa’s growing startup economy.

We’ve developed a range of partnership models designed for companies to unlock novel opportunities for startup collaboration, and commercialise internal IP and ideas. We match-make startups and partners where it makes sense, working with companies that complement the value we create for our startups.

Our partners help our startups with distribution, product validation, data access, market insights, network, and credibility. In turn, startups help our partners solve their internal challenges through innovation, and delivery of products and services to their clients.

Additional benefits for non-investment partners
  • Provides access to pilots and clear commercial opportunities with African startups
  • Offers opportunities for IP exploitation and conversion of latent technology and other internal corporate assets
  • Training and development of skilled entrepreneurs (Founders), especially focusing on women and Black Africans

Current Corporate Investors

Largest African bank by assets with a unique footprint across 20 African countries. With more than 54 000 employees, approximately 1 200 branches and 9 000 ATMs on the African continent.

Leading private healthcare group in South Africa, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with revenue of R21 589 million in 2019 and 21 000 permanent employees.

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS

Join our international network

Founders Factory is the world's leading startup accelerator and studio. Built by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox, is built on the belief that the world would be a better place if entrepreneurial spirit can flourish. They have created the best ecosystem in technology to support that idea.

Founders Factory partners include L'Oréal, Aviva, Marks & Spencer, Reckitt Benckiser, Holtzbrinck, Guardian Media Group, easyJet, CSC, Standard Bank, Netcare, Aviva France and Johnson & Johnson DC. Each corporate investor has a portfolio of 25 seed investments and 10 new startups created in line with their strategic interests.

Built and invested in over 140 startups
Raised over $270m in further capital from startups
Delivered 200+ pilots with corporates
Raised $130m+ from corporates
A total current portfolio value of $1.1billion
An NPS score above 70

Founders Factory employs over 130 digital operators and has launched hubs in London, Johannesburg, New York and Paris.

Founders Factory in the worldWorld map

Founders Keepers

Executive search firm specialising in building leadership teams within the digital and technology spaces.

Founders Forum

Invitational event-driven community for technology founders, investors, academics, government and influencers.

Accelerate-HER

Not-for-profit initiative launched to challenge the underrepresentation of women in technology.

Founders Pledge

Philanthropic arm of Founders Forum that enables founders to pledge a percentage of their exit to charitable causes.

Interested in a partnership?

If you'd like to partner with startups to test, pilot or enhance your client offering with a new product - let us know and we'll walk you through our current portfolio to find the best fit with the right startup and your teams.

get in touch →

“We’re excited about the selection of the first three healthtech startups, which will help stimulate healthcare innovation and development across the continent. By joining forces with FFA, we’re helping to create a support system for entrepreneurs, as well as providing value to people across Africa.”

Richard Friedland
CEO of the Netcare Group
Your partners in innovationAn enhanced economic narrative for Africa