Novastar Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on Africa with offices across Lagos, London and Nairobi, said Tuesday it has promoted Brian Waswani Odhiambo to Partner.
Odhiambo joined Novastar in 2015 as an Investment Associate and the fourth member of a team that has grown to become 20-strong today. He spent his first years at Novastar spearheading investments and partnering closely with portfolio companies in East Africa.
Following Novastar’s successful Fund II close in 2018, he relocated to Nigeria to build Novastar’s team, presence and portfolio in West Africa. Odhiambo serves as a board member at portfolio companies TeamApt, Nigeria’s largest SME business banking platform; TradeDepot, a B2B ecommerce and fintech platform; Ignitia, a tropical weather forecasting company; and MAX, a mobility platform that provides asset financing and driver management services to vehicle owners and operators across Africa.
Born and raised in Kenya, Odhiambo was part of the founding team of Jumia, Africa’s largest e-commerce platform, before joining Novastar.
Steve Beck, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Novastar, said Odhiambo has been instrumental in strengthening Novastar’s network and reputation and spearheaded the firm’s entry into the Lagos ecosystem. “His knowledge of everyday consumer behaviour in African markets, combined with a people-first approach to deal sourcing has helped us to forge strong, influential relationships with the best entrepreneurs.”
Besides co-founders and Managing Partners Beck and Andrew Carruthers, Novastar counts Sapna Shah as a Partner. Odhiambo becomes the fourth Partner at the firm.
Since 2014, Novastar has built a platform with more than $200 million assets under management and 26 portfolio companies across three funds. Novastar is currently investing from its second fund. Its LPs include leading private institutional investors, European development finance institutions and family offices.
It has a sector-agnostic investment thesis and backs the companies that provide essential goods, service and economic opportunity to everyday consumers and producers in the fast-growing, often informal African markets where they live, work and shop.