Partech Ventures announces today, 18 January 2018, the launch of its Partech Africa fund, which has secured above €57M (about $70 million) commitments toward its target size of €100 million (about $120 million), making it the first technology fund of such size from a top tier international VC to be exclusively dedicated to the fast‐growing tech ecosystem in Africa.
Partech Africa intends to focus on early stage growth funding, providing €0.5 to €5 million initial tickets to talented African teams using tech to address large emerging market opportunities.
Partech Africa is a generalist tech fund with target industries ranging from Financial Inclusion (Fintech, InsurTech, new distribution models) to online and mobile consumer services (commerce, entertainment, education, digital services), as well as mobility, supply chain services and digitization of the informal economy.
The fund launches in the context of an emerging and fast‐growing market.
“Tech VC investment in Africa, with ticket sizes from 200 000 to $40 million, has grown almost 10x from $40 million in 2012 to $367 million in 2016 and is already growing faster than projected $1 billion annually by 2020,” explains Cyril Collon, Partech Africa General Partner.
“Most investment rounds so far have been led by US or EU based investors. The ecosystem is ready for local players, with African teams being able to finance the best African startups.”
As an integral part of the global Partech platform, Partech Africa will also benefit from the firm’s collective industry expertise and unique portfolio support and business development capability.
“With a very hands‐on operational team closing more than 70 transactions per year, Partech will bring great value to African founders,” adds Tidjane Dème, Partech Africa General Partner.
“Moreover, thanks to our global network of corporate partners, our dedicated business development team will expose African startups to European and US markets, enable commercial contracts and long‐term strategic partnerships.”
Highly relevant investors rallied around Partech Africa to address this new digital opportunity.
“Technology can have a huge transformative impact in Sub‐Saharan Africa, which has a vast untapped source of entrepreneurial energy,” said Philippe Le Houérou, Chief Executive Officer of IFC.
“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.”
Partech Africa is also backed by corporate investors led by major global mobile player Orange and including leading emerging markets players such as Edenred and JCDecaux Holding.
“As a leading enabler of the African tech Industry, Orange is strongly pushing for next Pan-African digital champions to emerge and grow. Our commitment to Partech Africa is a critical component of our larger Orange Digital Ventures Africa initiative which aims to accelerate the growth and scalability of innovative tech‐enabled businesses,” says Pierre Louette, Orange Digital Investment Chairman and Orange Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
“We are pleased to be now present on 3 continents as we open our African headquarters in Dakar, Senegal not just for being global, but for a better and more comprehensive understanding of all tech trends and disruptions,” says Philippe Collombel, Partech Ventures co‐Managing Partner.
“In many domains we are seeing innovative investment projects led by outstanding African entrepreneurs. They are using digital tools and creative business models to solve major issues affecting large and untapped market segments, and this is only the beginning.”