Two Africa-related IPOs made big headlines last week. Both companies listing their shares count private equity investors among their stakeholders, allowing them to partially exit their positions.
Of the two, Jumia, which was founded with backing from Rocket Internet in 2012, is probably the most immediately recognizable. The pan-African e-commerce platform's shares started trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, surging more than 70% on the first day of trading. The IPO raised $196 million for the firm which will be used to support the firm's growth trajectory.
The second of the two IPOs took place in London. Network International, a payments processor which sells its services to the Middle East and African markets raised $1.4 billion in the offering, giving the firm a valuation of $2.8 billion. The IPO allowed the firm's larger stakeholders, Emirates NBD and private equity firms Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic to each exit about half of their holdings.
AfricInvest and Cathay Capital Private Equity announced the launch of a significant venture fund for Africa. The Cathay Africinvest Innovation Fund, which expects to announce its first close by the end of the third quarter this year, will be co-managed by a joint team from AfricInvest and Cathay Capital. Ultimately the fund is targeting $168 million by final close, which would make it one of the biggest pan-African venture funds investing on the continent.
From one of the largest venture fund launches to one of the largest venture rounds of the last few years. Branch International, developers of one of Africa's leading mobile loan apps, has raised a significant amount for its Series C from a group of investors led by Foundation Capital and Visa. The firm's earlier investors also took part in this latest round.
In follow-up to last week's review of the private equity deals that took place in the first quarter of the year, this week we take a look at the fundraising activity that took place over the last 3 months. There were over $800 million in fund closes held between January and March, and almost $1 billion in new fund announcements in the same period.
Finally, Actis has recruited a former Chief Financial Officer of two of its power industry assets, Globaleq and Lekela Power, to fulfill the same role at the private equity firm. Susan Wilkins joined the firm in March, is based in London and reports to the firm's Senior Partner, Torbjorn Caesar.
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 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.