Impact investment firm Bamboo Capital Partners has signed a partnership with Smart Africa to support BLOC, the first-of-its-kind blended fintech impact fund.
The partnership, announced at the Transform Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, will see Bamboo Capital Partners and Smart Africa, a public-private platform dedicated to shaping and driving Africa’s digital transformation,
The partnership will see Smart Africa support fundraising efforts and source deal flow for the BLOC Fund, managed by Bamboo, a blended finance technology impact fund targeting underserved communities in emerging markets. BLOC has a EUR100 million (US$112 million) target from a combination of public and private sector investors.
It will open up the Smart Africa network to BLOC and support fundraising efforts, provide access to local and regional technology ecosystems, including incubators and accelerators, and help sourcing deal flow. BLOC will invest in businesses and scalable technology-led solutions that create opportunities and services for underserved communities in emerging markets.
Under the umbrella of Smart Africa, contributing countries – the initiative has 26 member countries and dozens of private sector and academia members – will help startups access the pan-African market and effect a real, measurable social and environmental impact.
In March, the Government of Togo and Moeda, a Brazilian microfinance technology company, committed EUR10 million (US$11.2 million) to the first loss of BLOC. The first loss commitments will de-risk investments and catalyse follow-on funding from other public and private investors, with the overall goal of generating a lasting positive impact.
“We welcome the partnership with Smart Africa, as it will help BLOC invest in new technologies that have the capability to transform the lives of the poorest communities in emerging markets. In Africa, our vision is that BLOC will scale businesses to become champions of the continent and contribute to solving deep issues, such as poverty and climate change. The backing from Smart Africa, in addition to first loss commitments from the Government of Togo and Moeda, will be vital as we take our first steps towards achieving this vision,” said Florian Kemmerich, managing partner of Bamboo Capital Partners.
Lacina Koné, director general of Smart Africa, said he was delighted to join forces with Bamboo Capital Partners to create a VC fund to invest in digital startups throughout Africa.
“BLOC Smart Africa will seek to identify and grow the future generation of pan-African technology champions in close cooperation with our members, partners and local tech eco-systems from the public and private sectors. Hence, a unique opportunity to catalyse the entrepreneurship and creativity of our promising young African talents,” he said.