Partech Ventures, a European based VC firm has announced the launch of its African arm called Partech Africa. In the official communication, on the fund's blog, Partech Africa fund has secured above €57M (US$70M) commitments toward its target size of €100M ($120M). With offices in San Francisco, Paris, Berlin & (now in) Dakar, Partech Ventures calls itself the transatlantic venture capital firm.
"Partech Africa intends to focus on early-stage growth funding, providing €0.5 to €5M 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," part of the statement reads.
“Tech VC investment in Africa, with ticket sizes from 200K to $40M, has grown almost 10x from $40M in 2012 to $367M in 2016, and is already growing faster than projected $1B annually by 2020” explains Cyril Collon, General Partner of Partech Africa.
“Most investment rounds so far have been led by the US or EU based investors. The ecosystem is ready for local players, with African teams being able to finance the best African startups”.
The launch of Partech Africa is supported by major financial institutions led by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and including the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Averroès Finance III (fund of funds managed by Bpifrance and co-sponsored with Proparco).
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.
Africa has witnessed a growth in both Africa-only focused Venture Capital as well as existing venture capital funds elsewhere extending their activities to the continent. According to the website of African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, there are at least 79 Private Equity and Venture Capital funds based in or focused on Africa.
Last year, CRE Venture Capital, an African venture capital fund founded by Pule Taukobong and Ardon Makumbe led the raising of Andela's $40 Million. This very round had the participation of TLcom Capital - which is also an Africa-focused fund and led by Dr Omobola Johnson, a former Nigerian ICT minister. (See also: Andela Raises $40M in CRE Capital Venture Led Series C Round).
Partech Africa has Cyril Collon who recently served 4 years as the VP Sales for Europe & Africa at Verscom Solutions and Tidjane Dème, who spent 7+ years in executive roles at Google in Africa as partners.
Being located in Dakkar, the fund will give an edge to Francophone African ventures that have often been left in isolation.