I Squared’s Africa affiliate sets up fund-of-funds; Morocco’s Al Mada floats VC fund

 I Squared’s Africa affiliate sets up fund-of-funds; Morocco’s Al Mada floats VC fund

Avanz Capital, an affiliate of global infrastructure-focused private investment fund house I Squared Capital, has established Avanz Manara for Private Equity, an investment holding company to back third-party funds in Egypt.

Avanz Manara said it will support the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt and is designed to help Egyptian banks meet the Central Bank of Egypt’s requirement to provide financing to Egyptian SMEs.

The authorized capital of Avanz Manara is EGP2 billion ($110 million), with initial subscribed capital of EGP905 million from Egyptian institutional investors. The founding shareholders of Avanz Manara include the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, Misr Insurance Holding Company, Suez Canal Bank, Ahli United Bank, The United Bank, and Attijariwafa Bank Egypt.

Led by Hany Assaad, Avanz Manara looks to build a diversified portfolio of funds and companies across a variety of industries and sectors, as well as stages of financing (from angel investments to growth capital) for small- and medium-sized companies through a fund-of-funds structure.

The firm told The Capital Quest that Avanz Manara will begin investing as soon as its license is finalized, which is expected in the coming weeks. It has three years from the establishment date to invest the subscribed capital.

The investment team envisions deploying the capital into funds in the first 12-18 months and has up to 36 months to complete any co-investments, some of which it expects to be alongside the selected funds. The fund is targeted at local Limited Partners, especially those who wish to include this investment as part of their SME portfolio to meet the Central Bank of Egypt’s requirements for banks to allocate 25% of their portfolio to SMEs.

Avanz Capital has made several fund investments and co-investments across emerging markets since 2016.

Al Mada

In a parallel development in North Africa, Morocco-based Al Mada Holding Group has launched a $109.8 million pan-African venture capital fund to invest in fast-growing startups.

The new fund aims to back technology-oriented startups in fintech, health-tech, logistics, ed-tech and renewable energy sectors.

It will target startups that have reached a certain level of maturity, helping them access growth capital.

Vivek Sinha

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The Capital Quest