In May, AfricInvest - a Tunisia-based PE fund - revealed its intentions to launch a startup focused fund. Dubbed AfricInvest Venture Capital Fund, the size of the proposed fund is €120 million.
According to the European Investment Bank (EIB) filings, AfricInvest is about to secure part of the target amount. The bank stated that they are looking to contribute €15 million to the target amount.
They described the fund as a project that "consists of an equity participation in a €120m venture capital fund." Adding that it will focus on "innovative high-growth African SMEs."
"The proposed operation concerns a participation in the AfricInvest Growth Venture Capital Fund, a closed-end venture capital fund with a target size of EUR 120m."
The fund will be set up to make privately-negotiated equity and quasi-equity investments to support growing innovative companies in Africa with a predominant focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.
But, as of September 6, 2018, the proposal was still under appraisal by the bank according to the filings.
Earlier in the year, AfricInvest VC director Selma Ribica told Ventureburn about the fund. She said that it would target “successful startups” across the continent. “It is aimed to be the first truly African fund with offices in North, East, and West Africa and we aim to raise €120-million,” she added.
AfricInvest senior manager Yassine Oussaifi also added that the fund would look at existing startups. They would thus inject funding from Series-A level, rather than from seed level.
This week, we reported that the IFC was considering making a $3 million investment into Nigeria's Kobo360. But, before that, the IFC had funded Twiga Foods as well as Africa's Talking, both in Kenya.
This trend is an indicator of the growing interest by such institutions in investing in African startups. The move, thus, by AfriInvest to set-up a fund where the likes of IFC and EIB can be LPs makes sense. This will remove the bureaucracy and also speed up accessibility to the startups.
Founded in 1994, AfricInvest has over $1.2 billion in assets under management across 17 funds. They also have over 140 portfolio investments and 80+ exits. The PE fund also operates in 25 countries with offices in Tunis, Lagos, Abidjan, Nairobi, Cairo, Algiers, and Casablanca.
To date, some of their notable portfolio companies include EFC Uganda, UAP Kenya, Planor Capital International (MTN Cote d'Ivoire) and more.