Last week in brief... Dealmaking and fundraising values tended toward the smaller end of the scale last week in Africa. In the first of a couple of Series A rounds, Kuramo Capital is investing in Green Africa Airways. The amount being invested by the the New York-headquartered firm as well as the size of the stake they now hold in the new Nigerian airline remains undisclosed.
In addition to closing its Series A round, the airline has also established an advisory board. Among the senior industry figures agreeing to join it are Tom Horton, the former CEO and Chairman of American Airlines, William Shaw, the Founder and former CEO of VivaColombia, and Virasb Vahidi, the former CCO of American Airlines.
We have two items about Novastar Ventures this week. In the first, the Nairobi-based investor has led an investment in a specialty food company headquartered in Ethiopia. Joining them for the $1 million investment in Perennial Foods Group (which is better known by its global brand, GreenPath Food) is the Enterprise Development Programme, Oxfam Great Britain’s impact investment arm.
The transaction is the fourteenth for Novastar’s $80 million East Africa Fund I, which closed with $80 million in late 2015. The fund typically favors investments in businesses with mass-market scale potential, and which display both innovative business models and strong entrepreneurial leadership.
Having backed Novastar's first fund, FMO, the Dutch development bank is mulling whether to make a commitment to their second fund. The amount this time is a potential $5 million investment in the planned $120 million fund which is some $5 million less than the commitment FMO made to its predecessor. It’s probable that this is an initial commitment, with more to follow.
Another European DFI mulling a fund commitment last week is the European Investment Bank. They're considering an investment in Sawari Ventures' first fund which was launched in late 2015. If approved, the 10 million euro commitment (approximately $11.5 million) would be a significant investment in the fund which ultimately is looking to raise $50 million by final close.
Sawari Ventures Fund I will back seed and early stage venture and growth capital opportunities in innovation or knowledge-based SMEs in Egypt and Tunisia. The new fund’s investments are expected to range between $500,000 and $3 million in size in companies in a variety of sectors including fintech, healthcare and education technologies, alternative and green energy, consumer internet and hardware.
There were a number of senior executive moves last week. The two Co-CEOs of Abraaj's investment management group have resigned from the business unit's board of directors. The move comes following the proposed sale last week of four funds to Los Angeles-based Colony Capital. Both remain as Co-CEOs of the investment management unit.
Africa Finance Corporation has appointed a new President and Chief Executive Officer to replace Andrew Alli, who is leaving the infrastructure development finance institution after a decade-long tenure. Samaila Zubairu, who was selected from the more than 100 candidates who applied, will take up the role in the very near future. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Africapital Management and over the course of his career has led over $3 billion-worth of deals involving green-field project finance facilities, acquisitions, corporate transformation initiatives, privatization and equity capital market transactions.
Finally, some interesting perspective pieces for you to take a look at. An article from RMB Corvest points out that the past three years have reset benchmarks in private equity and debt markets, emphasizing the continued need for investors to be smart and strategic about their deals. Whereas there was previously far more "easy" money to be had, the economic downturn has brought with it an increasingly realistic and sober approach to investment, and an appreciation that one can no longer expect to achieve the same level of gearing.
And in an interesting piece by Brookings, an opinion on how, by adopting Alaska’s approach to natural resource investment and management, Africa would have a blueprint for generating equitable economic growth, creating wealth and fair redistribution of profits to its people.million, the IFC would put up $3 million if the investment is approved later in July.
That's it for this week. As always, you can review these and other stories by clicking through to this week's edition of the newsletter.
Allan Cunningham is a senior media executive who has spent the last 15 years of his career working for some of the world’s most respected M&A and Private Equity media companies including Dow Jones’s publications Private Equity Analyst and VentureWire and most recently, The Deal. He has built a number of successful digital and event content businesses, both subscription and sponsor-supported, delivering information and content-marketing services to clients in the M&A and broader deal ecosystem. He recently struck out on his own and launched Rowayton Press, a multi-platform media company focused on the private capital opportunities in emerging and frontier markets. Mr. Cunningham holds a Bachelors degree from Liverpool John Moores University in the UK.