Bamboo Capital Partners, an emerging markets impact investment platform, has roped in two anchor sponsors for its €100-million (US$121 million) blended finance technology impact fund.
The governments of Luxembourg and Côte d’Ivoire have subscribed €10 million into the first loss tranche of BLOC Smart Africa, Bamboo Capital said in a statement.
The first loss tranche protects senior tranches of funding designed for institutional investors and provides them with a market-based risk-adjusted return that fulfils their fiduciary requirements.
This follows Cote d’Ivoire’s previous proposal to commit €5 million, announced at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum in July 2020.
“Their sponsorship will play a crucial role in de-risking the senior tranches of the Fund and attracting institutional investors to this unique investment opportunity,” said Jean-Philippe De Schrevel, founder and managing partner at Bamboo Capital.
BLOC Smart Africa will invest in businesses with scalable technology to create growth opportunities for underserved communities in Africa. The fund is part of SDG500, the $500 million public-private blended finance impact investing platform dedicated to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Since its inception, Bamboo has raised over $400 million and invested in over 30 developing countries. It says its portfolio companies have positively impacted 184 million lives and supported 45,000 jobs, including 15,900 jobs for women.
The firm has a team of 30 professionals across Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Bamboo also acts as the asset management arm of global impact firm Palladium, which operates in 90 countries, following a strategic partnership in 2020.
“We have a critical funding gap across Africa,” said Lacina Koné, director general at Smart Africa. “The BLOC Smart Africa fund will go a long way in bridging the financing gap between seed and growth stage for hundreds of businesses and in particular startups in Africa, emerging and frontier markets.”
The fund is the first-of-its-kind vehicle dedicated to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, he added.
Smart Africa is an alliance of 31 African countries, international organisations and global private-sector players tasked with a vision to create a single digital market in Africa by 2030.