Partech Ventures announced last Thursday the launch of Partech Africa. This investment fund has already raised more than 57 million euros of its 100 million euro target. Partech Ventures becomes the first international venture company to deploy a technology fund of this magnitude, exclusively dedicated to the African ecosystem.
What are Partech Africa’s objectives?
Partech Africa seeks to specialize in financing “early stage” companies, with initial tickets of €0.5 to €5 million. Through this investment fund, Partech Ventures wants to support talented teams that use technology to open up opportunities in emerging markets.
A generalist investment fund, Partech Africa targets a wide range of sectors from financial inclusion (Fintech, InsurTech …) to online and mobile services (commerce, leisure, education, digital services), as well as mobility, supply chain and the digitization of the informal economy.
Partech Africa is being launched in the context of a rapidly expanding emerging market. “Tech Venture Company investment in Africa, which ranges in size from $200,000 to $40 million, has increased almost tenfold in four years from $40 million to $367 million, and is expected to surpass the $1 billion a year mark by 2020 given its current growth rate,” says Cyril Collon, General Partner of Partech Africa. “So far, most investments have been led by American or European investors. The ecosystem is now ready to welcome local partners, with African teams capable of funding the most promising African startups,” he adds.
As part of the global Partech platform, Partech Africa will also benefit from the collective industry expertise, unique portfolio support and business development capability. “With a highly operational and experienced team that accounts for over 70 transactions per year, Partech will add a lot of value to African entrepreneurs,” adds Tidjane Dène, also General Partner of Partech Africa. “Added to this is the fact that through our global network of corporate partners, our dedicated business development team will expose African startups to European and American markets, resulting in business deals and long-term strategic partnerships.”
Major investors join Partech Africa to seize this new digital opportunity
Most of the financial institutions led by IFC (a member of the World Bank Group) are supporting the launch of Partech. These include the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Averroès Finance III (fund of funds managed by Bpifrance and co-sponsored by Proparco).
“Technology can have a big transformative impact in Sub-Saharan Africa, a territory with a vast untapped source of entrepreneurial energy,” says Philippe Le Houérou, IFC’s President and CEO. “Africa’s population is very young – and among them are many people with strong technological skills and innovative ideas that could improve the quality of life. But these people lack the necessary funds. We think the Partech Africa investment fund will make a big contribution to closing this funding gap and draining entrepreneurship and growth.”
Partech Africa is also backed by investors under the umbrella of telecom giant Orange, as well as other emerging market leaders such as Edenred and JCDecaux Holding.
“As a leading facilitator of the African tech industry, Orange is strongly pushing African digital champions to emerge and grow. Our engagement with Partech Africa is a key part of our Orange Digital Ventures Africa initiative, which aims to accelerate the growth and flexibility of innovative technology-enabled businesses,” said Pierre Louette, vice CEO of Orange and president of Orange Digital Investment.
A new pioneering movement launched by Partech Ventures
This initiative is the latest in a series of innovative actions launched by Partech in recent years. The company was one of the first European Venture Companies to open an office in Silicon Valley, and has since expanded to become one of the few players on the pan-European and transatlantic market with teams located in San Francisco, Paris and Berlin.
“We are happy to be now present on 3 continents as we have just opened our first African headquarters in Dakar, Senegal; not only to become a global player, but to better grasp all the technologies and novelties” says Philippe Collombel, co-partner of Partech Ventures. “We are seeing innovative investment projects in many areas led by remarkable African entrepreneurs. They are using digital tools and creative business models to solve major problems that affect vast and unexplored market segments, and this is just the beginning.”
To seize this unprecedented African opportunity, Partech has extended its partnership to welcome Cyril Collon and Tidjane Dème, the two General Partners dedicated to Partech Africa.