AfDB invests $8m in Partech Africa Fund as it approaches target

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a EUR7 million (US$8 million) equity investment in the Partech Africa Fund, which is designed to support innovative growth-stage tech startups with high growth potential.

Partech Ventures, which was founded in 1982 in Silicon Valley and now has a team spread across offices in Paris, Berlin, San Francisco and Dakar, announced the first close of the fund back in January, saying it had secured over EUR57 million (US$70 million) toward its target size of EUR100 million (US$122 million).

It is now closing in on that target. French cosmetics giant L’Oréal made an undisclosed investment in the fund last month, and now the AfDB has joined it in backing Partech, which will provide startups with EUR500,000 (US$612,000) to EUR5 million (US$6.12 million) initial tickets.

Under the framework of the Boost Africa programme, the AfDB will provide EUR7 million (US$8 million) equity investment in the second close. The bank is expected to have a seat in the Advisory Board of the fund, and said the fund’s focus aligns well with the Boost Africa objectives to invest in high growth innovative startups with strong social and economic impact.

“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-centered products and services and market driven complementarity,” Stefan Nalletamby, director of the AfDB’s private sector, infrastructure and industrialisation department, said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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