Factor[e] Ventures today strengthens its commitment to transform the African start-up ecosystem with the launch of Delta40, a new venture studio that aims to increase incomes and tackle climate change in Africa by building and investing in technology ventures.
US ambassador to Kenya and iconic chief executive Meg Whitman spoke at the launch event, highlighting the pioneering mix of talent, technology, capital, and hands-on support the Delta40 team will provide African founders and startups innovating to solve the biggest problems.
Delta40 focuses on technology-driven energy, agriculture, and mobility ventures led by diverse, experienced founders. In addition to capital, Delta40 acts as a co-founder, providing fast, iterative product testing, technology brokering, early-stage commercialization, and working side-by-side to increase the speed of venture building. Delta40 secured early funding and strategic support from Autodesk Foundation and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), a collective action platform partnered with The Rockefeller Foundation, IKEA Foundation, and Bezos Earth Fund, leading climate tech law firm Wilson Sonisi, as well as government, private sector, and finance institutions.
Led by Lyndsay Holley Handler, who brings two decades of leadership, operations, and startup experience growing ventures in 15 countries across the continent, the Delta40 team has a deep understanding of how to navigate challenges and succeed in Africa’s booming tech scene. Holley Handler previously led clean energy company Fenix International through pan-African expansion with MTN, which was acquired in 2018 by ENGIE, the French multinational utility company. Through Delta40, she aims to use her considerable knowledge to help other entrepreneurs scale their ventures with organic growth or strategic corporate partnerships and acquisitions.
Delta40 Co-Founder and Managing Partner Lyndsay Holley Handler said: “By 2100, 40% of the world’s population will live in Africa. This presents an incredible opportunity – and imperative – to invest in entrepreneurs on the ground developing life-changing climate innovations. We are launching the Delta40 Venture Studio to connect African and female founders with the technology, talent, capital, and leadership support they need to build successful companies and thrive. Together with our founders, we aim to build a portfolio of transformative ventures across this important continent that improve lives, amplify the entrepreneurial ecosystem and protect the planet for generations to come.”
Delta40 benefits from the support of Factor[e] Ventures, an organization of venture builders and pre-seed investors. They collaborate on sourcing Founders, developing theses, brokering technology, and providing a post-investment support platform that adds value to portfolio companies as they grow.
Morgan DeFoort from Factor[e] Ventures said: “Although only 3% of global carbon emissions come from Africa, more than 60% of African households will be affected by climate change if we do not act. A decade of investing in energy, agriculture, mobility, and water innovations in emerging markets has affirmed that there is a great opportunity at the formation stage to support local and diverse founders as they connect their technologies and markets. Factor[e] Ventures is proud to launch Delta40 to scale our ability to identify, test, invest in and grow technology-driven ventures leading the fight against climate change in this important market.”
Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet’s Eric Wanless said: “Investing in innovation is key to driving economic development and solving climate change. GEAPP is proud to support Delta40 and the venture studio model, which drives innovation and creates skilled jobs and sustainable livelihoods across emerging economies. This initiative will support African startups and entrepreneurs in their mission to deliver and scale technology that helps local entrepreneurs thrive while developing clean energy solutions that protect the planet.”
Jean Shia, managing director of the Autodesk Foundation, said: “The Autodesk Foundation backs innovations with the potential to transform industries to be more sustainable, resilient, and equitable. We have supported Factor[e] since 2017 and are thrilled to see its innovative model expand to include the launch of a venture studio that sets a new bar for cultivating entrepreneurs. We invest for impact, and are confident that Delta40’s blend of operating experience in Africa, technology expertise, and commitment to investing in diverse founders will successfully accelerate African startups and their life-changing climate innovations.”
Delta40’s unique approach leverages the momentum of a record year for African tech startups, which raised a total of US$6.5B (+8% YoY). However, investment still lags in diverse Founders and key sectors such as energy, agriculture, and mobility. This gap creates a favorable investment environment that is further strengthened by untapped tech talent resources, an increasingly friendly regulatory environment, and exponential population growth.
Delta40 is already building six ventures led by experienced Founders and is actively evaluating new Founders and venture ideas. Holley Handler continued: “After building Pan-African ventures for two decades, we are confident that the venture studio model can dramatically increase the speed and success of innovation from idea to scale to exit. We welcome entrepreneurs and other partners with a shared mission to build with us.”