AfricInvest, Cathay Innovation close €110M Pan-African Venture Fund

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  • The Fund invests in startups across various industries, including Mobility, Fintech, HealthTech, EdTech, Digital Content, AI, and AgTech, with initial check sizes ranging from one million euros to ten million euros
  • The team at CAIF is going to put a significantly increased emphasis on investing in the most promising firms in the early to growth-stage stages of their development.
  • Most recently, CAIF co-led the $8 million Series A investment raised by Tunisia-based EdTech startup GoMyCode.

 

Cathay Innovation, a global venture capital firm, and Africa’s multi-asset investment platform AfricInvest have announced that they have completed the final close of their combined Pan-African Venture fund, known as the Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund (CAIF), at a total of €110 million.

The Fund is supported by LPs such as the European Investment Bank (EIB), AfricaGrow, FMO, Bpifrance, Triodos Investment Management, Proparco, SIFEM, and BIO, amongst others, in addition to a diverse pool of globally renowned investors.

These investors come from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East and include leading multinational corporations, development finance institutions, and high-net-worth individuals.

CAIF Investing in Entrepreneurs

The team at CAIF is going to put a significantly increased emphasis on investing in the most promising firms in the early to growth-stage stages of their development.

Entrepreneurs are improving the lives of Africans through revolutionary technology-enabled goods and services after the Fund has been closed.

The Fund invests in startups across various industries, including Mobility, Fintech, HealthTech, EdTech, Digital Content, AI, and AgTech, with initial check sizes ranging from one million euros to ten million euros for growth and up to one million euros for select seed-stage tickets.

CAIF has provided financial support to 10 of the most successful businesses on the African continent since the organisation’s founding in October 2019. These companies include 54gene, Migo, OZÉ, Heetch, PalmPay, Boomplay, KaiOS, WhereIsMyTransport, Aerobotics, and WhereIsMyTransport.

Most recently, the Fund co-led the $8 million Series A investment raised by Tunisia-based EdTech startup GoMyCode.

Yassine Oussaifi, a partner of AfricInvest and the co-head of CAIF, said:

The partnership between AfricInvest and Cathay Innovation delivers global knowledge in the field of innovation to the African continent. in addition to a robust network in Europe, the United States, and Asia.” This combination of factors helps build bridges between Africa and the rest of the world, enabling the Fund’s investees to develop into regional and global champions.

As technology expands and brings vast improvements to populations around the world, startups are becoming increasingly important in the construction of the new digital infrastructure required for developing regions such as Africa to reimagine industry and society in the 21st century.

 

AfricInvest and Cathay Innovation Finalise Final Close of €110M Pan-African Venture Fund [Photo/cathaycapital]
AfricInvest’s multi-strategy platform has been actively contributing to building the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in Africa since it was first introduced in 1994.

To provide local hands-on support, create synergies with portfolios, and assist with geographic expansion, CAIF relies on AfricInvest’s extensive investment expertise, its extensive pool of resources from its network, and its physical presence across 11 regions through offices including Nairobi, Algier, Abidjan, Cairo, Lagos, Casablanca, and Tunis.

AfricInvest has, to date, raised over $2 billion in AUM across 21 funds and benefits from strong, long-term support from both African and international investors. The company has over 200 portfolio companies across 25 African countries in various high-growth sectors, of which 106 have exited the business.

Cathay Innovation is a renowned venture capital firm that was established in 2015. The company provides entrepreneurs with the support of a worldwide ecosystem that spans the continents of North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Mingpo Cai, Founder and Chairman of Cathay Capital and Cathay Innovation, said,

We are proud to partner with the AfricInvest team, which connects the entire African continent with tech hubs around the world, in a shared mission of accelerating the transition to a more digital, sustainable, and inclusive economy for Africa and beyond.” AfricInvest’s mission is to “connect the entire African continent with tech hubs around the world.

Accelerating the growth of startups by providing access to new markets, invaluable industry knowledge, and introductions to potential partners from the very beginning is made possible by a global platform that brings together investors, entrepreneurs, and leading corporations interested in investing in technology across multiple continents.

Cathay Innovation has a proven track record of success, having made over 120 investments in firms worldwide, including 19 unicorns, accelerating industry and society’s environmentally sustainable digital transformation.

Cathay Innovation’s assets under management total over €2 billion, and the company has offices across three continents.

The CAIF provides the means for potentially successful businesses to develop and commercialise cutting-edge innovations that propel equitable socio-economic progress in Africa.

To this point, the Fund has demonstrated tremendous momentum and scalability, as seen by the portfolio firms’ expansion of their worldwide reach to over 21 markets throughout the continent.

The Fund’s portfolio firms have also generated substantial impact at scale in recent years, reaching over 136 million Africans with inclusive and digital solutions.

For every dollar spent, more than one user on the continent benefits from the investment.

The Fund has been responsible for creating and maintaining approximately 1,400 direct employment with its current portfolio, and women make up an average of 35% of the workforce.

The Fund will support African entrepreneurs in their efforts to scale the breakthrough technologies they have developed across Africa and beyond. Additionally, the Fund will continue to support global entrepreneurs in their efforts to expand their businesses into Africa

It will be deployed by a team of investment professionals in the centres of VC innovation across Africa.

“The Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund was established on the premise that innovative and tech-enabled startup companies in Africa are closing significant socio-economic gaps and other vital concerns.

We see this investment opportunity as a way to provide strategic support to the exceptional entrepreneurs striving to innovate and improve lives in Africa.

We believe that this is the perfect chance to do so. Already, CAIF has reached over one hundred million people via job creation and inclusion. However, there are still millions throughout the continent with insufficient economic resources on our radar,” said Khaled Ben Jilani, Senior Partner at AfricInvest and co-head of CAIF.

The market for venture capital in Africa has grown exponentially over the past decade, paralleling the acceleration of the digital revolution across all industries. Consequently, the industry is becoming an innovative environment with the world’s quickest growth rate.

The ecosystem reached a new milestone of over $5 billion in venture financing in 2021, more significant than the previous two years combined and nearly three times more than in 2020.

As one of the leading Pan-African innovation funds for early-stage to growth-stage companies, we are one of the largest in the world., CAIF is now in a solid position to increase its focus on creative and scalable post-revenue companies based in Africa or with an emphasis on Africa. Consequently, CAIF will remain at the forefront of the continent’s fast-evolving VC landscape.

Read: Gold Rush: Venture capitalists keen to harness opportunities in African startups

Maingi Gichuku is passionate about helping African businesses grow by offering technology solutions. With a BSC in Zoology and biochemistry, Gichuku yearns for an Africa that can find solutions to its challenges. My drive is to see an economically dynamic Africa and embrace its populations by creating opportunities cutting across the social and economic strata.

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