Partech raises Africa’s largest VC fund at first close itself

 Partech raises Africa’s largest VC fund at first close itself

Partech Partners said Tuesday its new fund to back African startups has been oversubscribed as it made a first close at €245 million or $263 million.

Partech Africa II becomes the largest tech fund in Africa and will provide cheques with $1-15 million in initial tickets from seed to growth stages.

The fund has attracted Limited Partners (LPs) such as IFC – International Finance Corporation, KfW, European Investment Bank (EIB), FMO – Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, Bpifrance, British International Investment, DEG, PROPARCO, Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, and South Suez Capital.

“We launched this strategy with less than $400 million invested annually on the continent,” commented Partech’s General Partner Tidjane Deme. “We know there are many more champions to build in Africa and we are ready to support them,” he added.

The tech investment firm, which chases startups in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia, is raising the new fund four years after raising the largest corpus for early-stage companies in the continent to date in its maiden outing.

Partech’s Africa investment practice is co-led by Cyril Collon and Tidjane Deme. The firm has offices in Paris, Berlin, San Francisco and Dakar. It has a local presence in New York, Nairobi and Dubai.

Partech Africa Fund II will be sector-agnostic but will have a sweet spot for fintech, online and mobile consumer services, as well as mobility, supply chain services and startups engaged in digitization of the informal economy.

Its first fund backed around 16 startups across nine countries in Africa. These include Almentor, Yoco, TradeDepot, Chatdesk, Freterium, Gebeya, MoneyFellows, Kudi, Terrapay, Reliance Health, Tugende and Wave.

The VC firm had made a final close of Partech Africa fund at €125 million ($143 million then), above its hard cap, in January 2019. It completed fundraising at twice its first close of €57 million ($70 million) in 2018.

The Capital Quest had previously reported that Partech has got its anchor LP for one of Africa’s largest VC funds that could be raising around $300 million.

The VC firm did not officially mention the target amount but its executives told TechCrunch that $300 million is indeed the target.

The new fund is the largest VC fund dedicated to technology startups in Africa. TLCom is raising a big corpus too and Norrsken22 is eyeing around $200 million in its debut investment vehicle.

Germany’s KfW Development Bank committed €45 million for Partech Africa II on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as an anchor investor. Previously, FMO, which had also backed Partech’s debut fund, had said it was looking to come back as an investor in the second fund with a $27 million cheque.

Separately, IFC committed up to €25 million along with a separate co-investment envelope of up to €15 million to the fund. The European Investment Bank has also sanctioned an undisclosed amount for the fund.

Vivek Sinha

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