Last week in brief… Perhaps blame it on the Easter break, but it was very quiet on the private equity, venture capital and infrastructure deals front last week. That's not to say nothing notable happened--it did. In the eleventh deal for its €150 Maghreb Private Equity Fund III, AfricInvest, the mid-cap private equity investor took a significant minority stake in Outsourcia, a 12-year old contact center, business process outsourcing and digital services provider based in Morocco. The capital will be used to push the company’s expansion plans further, supporting a corporate development initiative named “Acquire and Migrate” to other African regions intended to maintain the strong growth trajectory the business has enjoyed since its launch.
In a first for Andreesen Horowitz, the noted Silicon Valley venture firm announced its first deal in a company whose primary market is in Sub-Saharan Africa, leading a $9.2 million Series A round in Branch.co, a mobile financial services provider with offices in San Francisco and Nairobi. The company provides users with a free-to-download mobile app, asks permission to access and analyze data on their phone which it then uses to assess the user’s creditworthiness and grant micro-loans which are distributed and repaid via the M-Pesa mobile money platform. Early backers of the firm, Khosla Impact Fund and Formation 8, who originally provided the start-up with $1.4 million seed capital also participated in the round.
Helios Investment Partners announced the completion of its deal to acquire a 100% interest in Crown Agents Bank and Crown Agents Investment Management, two financial services units from parent company, the international development company, Crown Agents. The deal was originally announced in August last year. Financial terms for the deal for Crown Agents Bank which has $1.1 billion in assets or Crown Agents Investment Management, which managers $1.5 billion, remained undisclosed.
In the only fundraising news from Africa last week, GroTech’s venture capital fund landed a significant commitment from wealth manager Caleo Capital, bringing the total for its initial raise to R62 million or approximately $4.2 million. The fund will now start the process of building a portfolio of high-growth technology companies.
Finally, there were a number of articles we found covering a range of regulatory and policy issues...the risks involved for deal makers planning transactions that involve entities with activities in Africa, a synopsis of the main elements and requirements laid down by the Electrify Africa Act and a guest blog post in the Huffington Post by Megan Rapp, the Africa Team Lead for USAID’s Development Credit Authority on the evolution and development impact of the institution’s relationship with Ecobank to support financing across a variety of sectors in Africa.