Norrsken Foundation, a Sweden-based co-working space and investment fund, has invested $20m to open Africa’s largest start-up hub in Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. The first phase has welcomed 250 entrepreneurs, with an additional 750 entrepreneurs to be hosted by the end of 2022.
The Kigali location is the first of 25 hubs the Norrsken Foundation plans to open globally over the next decade. Pascal Murasira, managing director of Norrsken East Africa, said: “We have massive demand that we can meet to become Africa’s largest physical hub for start-ups.” He added: “We believe Kigali is on track to become one of Africa’s leading tech and start-up clusters, and we want to help accelerate that journey.”
Norrsken Foundation will support ventures and start-ups across East Africa, beginning with seed investments of $25,000–$100,000 for early-stage start-ups in all sectors. Norrsken chief executive officer Erik Engellau-Nilsson confirmed that Norrsken Kigali will extend the fund to larger series-stage investments from $100,000–$1m at some point in the future.
Kigali has witnessed increasing success in its start-up scene, but in terms of venture capital funding it has yet to surpass other African cities such as Accra, Cairo, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi and Tunis.