A15, a tech investment fund, has sold a 76% stake in U.A.E. based fintech company TPAY to Helios Investment Partners. There were no specific monetary details revealed.
According to A15, the sale made it the “first fund in the Middle East and Africa which created a Dragon from one of its investments, TPAY.”
By definition, a dragon is a company that returns an entire fund — a “fund maker.” While as unicorns are rare, dragons are 4x rarer.
“In this case, TPAY returned a multiple of the value of the entire A15 Fund to its investors, a liquidity event that is very rare in the global tech investment space and a first of its kind in the MENA region,” wrote A15.
But, this isn’t the first exit for A15. The fund sold Otlob to Rocket Internet at $12 million in 2015 – a price Wamda described as a ‘bargain’. Registered in Cayman Island and headquartered in Cairo, A15 currently has at least 17 ventures in their portfolio. In May this year, they participated in Wuzzuf’s $16 million Series B.
TPAY is a direct carrier billing provider in the Middle East and North Africa region with headquarters in Dubai. Founded in 2014, the company has operations in at least 14 MENA countries.
Although Helios will now have a controlling stake, it seems both will continue making the decisions.
“Following the acquisition by Helios Investment Partners, A15 and the current executive team will continue to lead the implementation of TPAY’s growth strategy, with guidance from the new owners, and both will remain invested in a total of 24% of the company,” wrote A15.
Helios is most known for its investment in Nigeria’s Interswitch. Yet, they have also been active across the continent this year, with investments in Zola Electric and Africell Holdings.
Fope Adelowo, Helios’ VP, was at TechCrunch’s Disrupt event this year and encouraged Silicon Valley investors to bet on Africa’s potential.