Last week in brief... African Infrastructure Investment Managers brought us one of the bigger private equity fund closes of the year last week. The Old Mutual-owned fund manager raised a total of $320 million for AIIF 3, its latest private equity infrastructure fund, from a diverse group of investors including DFIs as well as institutional investors in southern Africa. Several are/had been LPs in some of AIIM's prior funds, a nice vote of confidence for them.

The new fund’s strategy mirrors that of its predecessor, backing mid-market opportunities in the power, transport and midstream energy sectors. So far, the fund, which held its first close in May 2017, has deployed capital in nine investments in thermal power, renewable energy, ports and logistics, and airports projects in twelve countries.

Mediterrania Capital Partners announced the fourth deal for its third, and largest fund. The investment, which is being made in partnership with Tunisian-Kuwaiti investment company Ekuity Capital, is in Aziza, a Tunisian supermarket chain. The firm will use the cash from the investment to support its expansion plans, continuing on a reportedly stellar growth trajectory from the past five years in which the company’s turnover has increased significantly, making it one of the leading supermarket chains in Tunisia which now has a network of 250 shops.

Cupric Canyon Capital's Khoemacau Group got a significant equity infusion last week. The capital will be added to an overall financing package earmarked to fund the development of the mining group's copper silver project in Botswana. Two specialist mining private equity fund managers, GNRI and Resource Capital Partners are making the equity investment.

In venture capital news, Naspers announced that it has led the latest investment round for Brainly, a global peer-to-peer learning business headquartered in Poland and the USA. This is the second time Naspers gas backed Brainly, following its participation in the firm's Series A round in 2016. The current round of funding will be used to enhance the firm's clients'user experience and create the next generation of the platform, as well as expanding its user base in the United States, a key strategic market for the company which it has already started to monetize.

There was another "outbound" venture investment reported last week. Nairobi-based Novastar Ventures has made the third investment for its second fund, backing cooling technology company Sure Chill’s Series A round. The business, which is headquartered in Cardiff, Wales, has patented a technology which helps preserve vaccines, which are very sensitive to temperature, in emerging markets where access to reliable power can be inconsistent. By harnessing a unique property of water, the company’s technology ensures that refrigerators keep cool for days in the event of a power outage.

In the same week that we report BlueOrchard Finance's investment in Nigeria's Royal Exchange General Insurance comes the news hat BlueOrchard itself is the subject of a deal. Schroders, the global asset manager, has acquired a majority stake in the impact investment firm, allowing it to broaden the range of sustainability-related investment options it can offer to its client base, who are increasingly demanding investment opportunities that combine financial returns and beneficial impacts.

That's it for this week. As always, you can review these and other stories by clicking through to this week's preview edition of the newsletter.

Allan Cunningham

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.

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