Goodwell Investments and Dutch foundation Oxfam Novib have joined forces to create Pepea, a €20 million ($21.7 million) fund, to provide financing to early-stage startups in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia.
Pepea will offer venture debt with a focus on mezzanine finance to businesses in sustainable agriculture, energy, clean mobility, logistics, and waste management sectors. The fund will finance startups in markets where Oxfam and Goodwell have a presence.
Pepea will offer initial checks of between $100,000 and $500,000 and follow-on investments of up to $1 million. The fund will target early-stage businesses that have been in existence for one to five years and are generating revenues but have yet to raise capital.
The goal is to improve the quality and affordability of basic goods and services that represent a significant proportion of household spending for lower-income communities.
The fund will focus on high-impact tech-enabled businesses, which are best suited for environments where tech enables access and affordability. Pepea aims to ensure that these businesses have the right structures and systems in place to help them prepare and raise their first rounds of funding.
Pepea is the first fund by the impact investor and the non-government organization and plans to maximize positive impact within the communities it serves by helping businesses in less-served segments of the market access patient capital.