Investment firm Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) has announced a first closing of over EUR50 million (US$59 million) for its IPAE 2 fund, which will invest in small and medium sized businesses in Africa that combine economic profitability with societal impact.
Launched in 2002, I&P is committed to contributing to the rise of a sustainable and dynamic private sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its portfolio includes more than 60 SMEs in sectors such as microfinance, healthcare, agribusiness, and education, with I&P an investor in PAYG solar firm PEG Africa last year.
Building on the success of the I&P African Entrepreneurs (IPAE) fund launched in 2012, the new fund targets African SMEs in expansion whose financing needs range from EUR300,000 (US$353,000) to EUR3 million (US$3.5 million).
The first closing contains both new investors and reinvestments, which the company said showed the continuing confidence in the management team and the legitimacy of the fund itself. There is a balanced distribution between public investors like Proparco, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the European Investment Bank (EIB), as well as corporate and private investors such as AXA IM impact fund and Société Générale.
The fund is slated for 30 to 40 startups and companies located in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean, as well as to those who promote the construction of a sustainable, productive private sector.
IPAE 2, to total EUR80 million (US$94 million) in the long term, will be active in East Africa, by creating an investment hub in Nairobi to operate throughout the sub-region.
“I&P’s commitment to African development is reflected in different funds whose philosophy remains the same: an entrepreneurial spirit, and commitment to development, integrity and high standards,” said I&P president Jean Michel Severino.
“The strength of I&P lies in this diversified offering of investment vehicles. By positioning itself as a capital solution for SMEs, I&P is fully contributing to the development of Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to meet the challenges of inclusive and sustainable growth and employment in Africa.”
You can read Disrupt Africa’s interview with I&P investment officer Hugues Vincent-Genod here.