An Africa-focused venture capital fund has secured USD 143 million in finance for local tech companies as interest in start-ups continues to gather pace.
Paris-headquartered venture capital firm Partech Ventures has secured the closing of a USD 143 million fund for African technology start-ups.
Partech also announced the establishment of a presence in East Africa through the hire of Nairobi-based investment office Ceasar Nyagah, adding to its existing West African team in Dakar, Senegal.
The USD 143 million Partech Africa Fund came from 40 financial institutions, corporate partners and entrepreneurs and came a year after the first closing, which was at USD 70 million and Partech claimed it as the largest venture capital fund dedicated to technology start-ups in Africa. The fund will invest in start-ups in the education, mobility, finance, delivery and energy sectors, among others.
The fund received backing from the European Investment Bank (EIB), Dutch development finance institution (DFI) FMO, the African Development Bank(AfDB), German development bank KfW and the Averroès Finance III fund which is run by investment bank Bpifrance and French DFI Proparco, as well as advertising corporation JCDecaux, telecommunications giant Orange, L’Oréal and African investors Axian Group and TEXAF.
Partech general partner Cyril Collon said in a statement that the firm’s ambition is “to support extraordinary entrepreneurs building digital champions for Africa and emerging markets”.
Among its early investments are South African fintech provider Yoco, which also received funding from Orange’s innovation subsidiary in September last year, and Nigerian consumer goods company TradeDepot, while Collon described as “strong showcases of how these champions can transform whole sectors such as retail and payments in this region”.
The announcement of the funding comes at a time when interest in financing technology in Africa is booming, as discussed at last November’s ALB Summit, both for venture capital investors and for companies interest in the rapidly moving African fintech sector, with the continent proving to be the front line for start-ups using new technology such as blockchain.
The recent launch of the London Stock Exchange’s Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 report put a spotlight on some of the continent’s most vibrant up-and-coming tech companies, with many of those active in the sector seeking investors.