IFC named top investor in Partech Africa €100 million VC fund

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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has assisted Partech Ventures to launch a €100 million fund that is expected to become the largest venture-capital fund focused on digital-technology start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa.

The initiative will help accelerate an ongoing digital transformation that is helping drive economic growth in the region.

IFC’s €15 million equity investment makes it an anchor investor in the Partech Africa fund, which just reached its first close. The transaction marks IFC’s first investment in a mainstream venture capital fund in sub-Saharan Africa, where start-ups in the technology sector face significant funding gaps that limit their ability to grow. This sector is critical to economic growth and prosperity in Africa—digital technology is expected to contribute about $300 billion to the region’s gross domestic product by 2025, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.

“Technology can have a huge transformative impact in Sub-Saharan Africa, which has a vast untapped source of entrepreneurial energy,” says Philippe Le Houérou, IFC Chief Executive Officer.

“Africa’s population is overwhelmingly young—it has lots of people with strong tech skills and innovative ideas that could improve lives. But they lack the necessary funding. We think the Partech Africa fund will make an important contribution to closing this funding gap and driving entrepreneurship and growth.”

“With a very hands-on and operational team, closing more than 70 transactions per year, Partech will bring a great value to African founders. Moreover, thanks to our global network of corporate partners, our dedicated business development team will expose African startups to European and U.S. markets, enabling commercial contracts and long-term strategic partnerships,” says Tidjane Dème, Partech Africa General Partner.

The fund will be open to countries across Africa, although eight countries that show the strongest need for venture capital include Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

The fund will provide early-stage growth funding in amounts ranging from €500 000 to €5 million for start-ups in financial technology, health technology and mobile technology.

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Bontle Moeng is the Founder and Managing Director of BizNis Africa. Moeng has spent 16 years working in the digital and online media industry across Africa. She applied her trade at True Love magazine prior to discovering her passion for Investment news in key sectors across Africa. Moeng previously worked for ITWeb, Starfish Mobile Technologies, ITNewsAfrica, AVATAR Agency, eNitiate, Global Interface Consulting and Havas Johannesburg. Her primary focus is to provide solid and valuable content on investment opportunities for the ICT, Energy and Mining sectors across Africa. In addition, the online news publication assists global companies to expand their presence in Africa. Email: news@biznisafrica.co.za

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