Europe-based climate-tech VC Satgana has appointed Anil Maguru, formerly an investment director at the firm, as its newest partner. Satgana, which emerged out of stealth last year, invests in climate startups in Europe and Africa.
Maguru joined the VC firm at inception three years ago, starting as an analyst. At 28, he becomes one of the youngest VC partners in Europe, and among the less than 10% black fund managers in the world. Maguru previously worked at a Paris-based family office, where he was in charge of investing and managing a €20 million portfolio including private equity, venture capital, real assets and philanthropy.
“I wanted to bring more value into what I was doing, and that is why I joined Satgana to back founders working towards climate change adaptation and mitigation. I have been appointed in a way that I will definitely have a strong presence in Africa,” said Maguru adding that the VC firm is planning on two bigger funds for Africa and Europe, as it doubles down investment plans in the two regions.
“We are building our traction in Europe and in Africa with this first fund, because we are aiming to open two other funds within the next couple of couple of years; one will focus on Europe and the other on Africa, in order to carry on the strategy of investing across the two continents,” said said Maguru, who was born in Rwanda but moved to France with his family at the age of 10.
Commenting on Maguru’s appointment Romain Diaz, Satgana founder and CEO Romain Diaz said; “[Maguru] embodies the spirit of Satgana in his daily actions, with a skillful blend of short-term hustle and a long-term strategic approach in all relationships and decisions. He is smart, strategic, humble, charismatic and with strong work ethics.”
Satgana plans to allocate up to 40% of its current and first €10 million (revised from €30 million) fund in “planet-positive” startups in Africa, and is already making headway. It invests up to €300k in pre-seed and seed startups.
It is targeting the mobility, food and agriculture, energy, industry, buildings, and the circular economy sub-sectors, and has so far invested in three African startups.
Its investees in Africa include Mazi Mobility, a Kenyan startup building a network of electric motorbikes and a battery-swapping infrastructure; Kubik, which upcycles plastic and has operations in Ethiopia, and Revivo, B2B marketplace selling electronic spare parts giving products like phones a new lease of life. In Europe, Satgna has invested in Rebel Tech, Orbio Earth, Yeasty, Loewi, Arda, Fullsoon, and Fermify.
Satgana is among the growing number of funds dedicated to the African climate tech sector amid a VC funding cooldown. The other funds include Pan-African venture firm Africa People + Planet Fund, which will invest in startups developing agriculture and climate solutions on the continent, Equator’s fund, which will focus on seed and Series A startups in the energy, agriculture and mobility sectors, and the Catalyst Fund, which is meant to bolster climate innovation.
“There is significant potential for Africa to work towards building resilience, powering sustainable growth, and contributing to the transition to a Net Zero economy. Although African countries produce less than 3% of the greenhouse gasses that warm the planet and are the most vulnerable, the continent is growing at an exponential rate and its energy needs are increasing, which could put it at systemic risk,” said Maguru.
“This is why for us it is important to start addressing this market while mobilizing our market experience and expertise to support startups towards carbon mitigation strategies and resilience,” he said.