The African Development Bank – ADB – has approved the investment of €7 million into Partech Africa fund. The decision was made on Thursday by the Bank’s executive directors. According to ADB, this is part of their “efforts to channel critical investment funding to Africa’s entrepreneurs.”
Partech is a Venture Capital Fund dedicated to investing in tech-enabled, innovative, high growth potential and talented entrepreneurs operating early stage companies and applying relevant technologies to address fundamental market constraints with the potential to scale across the continent.
According to papers presented to the ADB Board, the Fund has successfully completed its first close in January 2018 with €71 million and is targeting a total fund size of at least €100 million through a 2nd round expected to be closed by October/November 2018.
This recent investment from ADB, therefore, brings their total raised to around €79 million.
Under the framework of the Boost Africa Program, the Bank will provide €7 million equity investment in the 2nd close. The contributions from both the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank form part of the Boost Africa Programme, which assists Partech in its fundraising. The Bank is expected to have a seat in the Advisory Board of the Fund.
According to ADB, “the fund’s focus aligns well with the Boost Africa objectives to invest in high growth innovative start-ups.”
ADB states that Partech has hubs/offices in Dakar, Nairobi, and Lagos. They are also targeting nine Sub-Saharan African countries. These include; South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.
In an interview with How We Made It in Africa, Tidjane Deme, who co-leads the Partech Africa Fund, said that ‘investing in Africa cannot be done from New York or London’. Adding that they “are traveling 10 days per month across the continent.” This perhaps explains why they are setting up a couple of local hubs.
Since announcing the fund, the Partech Africa fund has gone on to make a couple of bets in African startups. In September, they led South Africa’s Yoco’s $16 million Series A. A figure that is among the top 17 funding rounds of 2018 so far.
However, in May, they had already made their first investment when they led Nigeria-based TradeDepot’s $3 million Series A.