Last week in brief...We lead this week with news of Africa's biggest tech fund. Partech Ventures announced the final close for their first Africa fund last week, handily beating their original goal and blowing through their hard cap. The fund now has €125 million (or about $143 million) in hand to invest digital technology startups, some 25% more than its original goal of €100 million.
While Partech's news was the only fund close of the week, there was more investment activity. EXEO Capital, managers of the Agri-Vie funds, announced an investment in South Africa’s Jumbo Brands, a manufacturer of branded, non-alcoholic drinks. The deal is the fourth for Exeo’s Agri-Vie Fund II, and gives the private equity fund a 36.5% stake in the company. EXEO Capital's Avril Stassen and his colleague, Denham Wiercx, who both worked on the deal are both taking seats on Jumbo Brands’ board.
In another South African deal, Inspired Evolution is backing Commercial Energy, a financing platform set up by solar system provider SolarAfrica. The deal sees Inspired Evolution’s second fund provide R100 million, or about $7.5 million, of capital in exchange for a little more than 50% stake. Commercial Energy will provide funding solutions to private commercial and industrial customers of SolarAfrica’s solar PV systems in both South Africa and further afield on the continent.
Heading north to Nigeria, Kupanda Holdings, the joint venture between TPG Growth and Kupanda Capital, is backing Mavin Records in what's described as a “multimillion dollar equity investment”. The capital will help Mavin build up its operations to meet the growing international demand for African music.
Staying in West Africa, Investisseurs & Partenaires announced that they have realized two exits for the first of their two Afrique Entrepreneurs funds. The fund, IPAE I, which was launched in 2012, had raised a total of €54 million (or about $62 million) and is now fully invested with a portfolio of twenty-nine SMEs. The fund is disposing its interests in two portfolio companies via trade sales - Conergies which is being acquired by French utility, EDF, and Delta Irrigation, which is being acquired by Kulker, a French irrigation business and Bernega, a subsidiary of Senegal’s Agrifos group.
Yellow Door Energy, a MENA-focused solar developer, signed agreements with a number of investors last week, closing its Series A round. The UAE-based company, which was founded in 2015, received $65 million of investment capital from a group of investors. The capital will be used to scale the company’s solar energy and energy efficiency solutions sales and operations in the countries of the Middle East and Africa.
In people news, CDC Group has appointed a former regional head at Standard Chartered as its new Managing Director, Funds and Capital Partnerships. Stephen Priestley will lead the UK development finance institution’s intermediated equity investment team as well as direct CDC’s newly formed capital partnerships group. He started in his new role last week and is based in London.
And finally, we publish the first of a series of lists summarising private capital market activity in Africa last year. This week we look at the funds which held $100 million plus closes last year deal and review the most notable and largest deals of the year.
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.