The African Development Bank's efforts to channel critical investment funding to Africa's entrepreneurs received a big boost on Wednesday, 18 October 2018 in Abidjan, where the Bank's executive directors approved €7 million equity investment in Partech Africa Fund.
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.
With hubs/offices in Dakar, planned for Nairobi and Lagos, the Fund is targeting companies across the continent with the goal of enabling the emergence of regional champions.
It focuses on
i) financial inclusion (fintech, insurtech, pay as you go, off-grid energy)
ii) online and mobile consumers; and
iii) more broadly on tech adoption in enterprises, especially in industry, education, logistics and transport, health, and agriculture value chain applications.
Under the framework of the Board approved Boost Africa Program, the Bank will provide a €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 fund's focus aligns well with the Boost Africa objectives to invest in high growth innovative start-ups with a strong social / Base of the Pyramid outreach and impact.
The investment strategy is also in line with the Bank's Private Sector Operations strategy linking entrepreneurship, investment and economic growth with poverty alleviation and sustainable growth development outcomes and impact.
It also aligns with all High 5s, as the deal flow will also include investees operating in agriculture/value chains, small industrializing start-ups, and off-grid energy start-ups. It will support regional integration by connecting scalable businesses within and across regions and improve the life of the people of Africa through new business models that are inclusive and support less endowed people. It is also in line with the Bank's Financial Sector Development Policy and Strategy to increase access to financial services for the underserved.
Some of the key development outcomes include:
(i) Promoting profitability and growth of high value-generating companies;
(ii)stimulating strong job growth, and
(iii) increasing access and inclusion to financial and 'real sector' services and goods through appropriate technology and innovations; (iv) creating more efficient markets with deeper access for poorer segments of society.
"By participating in the Fund, the Bank will support the successful launch of the first large Venture Capital fund covering four key regions in Africa, supporting entrepreneurs to leverage additionality and technology to develop affordable, user-centred products and services and market-driven complementarity."