Last week in brief...As the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic started to take hold on business and investment activity, it was a couple of fundraising items that grabbed our attention last week.

The larger of the two concerned a second close for 27four Investment's second private equity fund-of-funds. More than double its predecessor's size, the Black Business Growth Fund II will fulfill the same mandate, backing Black-managed private equity funds that target well-managed, sustainable middle-market businesses in South Africa. At second close, the fund has raised $40 million and is about two-thirds of the way to its final close target. In certain instances, BBGF II will co-invest alongside its investee funds, expanding the number of companies that can be backed and supporting the sector's growth and job creation trajectories.

Nairobi-based Equalife Capital has launched a venture debt relief fund to support otherwise promising startups in Africa weather the crash in business and economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and emerge well-placed to continue their growth and development once the pandemic passes. The Africa Venture Debt COVID-19 Relief Fund is looking to rapidly raise $20 million from the global donor and investment community focused on Africa and has set an April 15th goal to raise the capital which it hopes to deploy promptly. Initially, the fund will focus on ventures operating in the East African region which are venture equity-backed and that lack the cash flow or assets required to attract and manage traditional debt financing.

In another piece of fundraising news, the Dutch Good Growth Fund has agreed to invest €7 million in Azur Partners' Innovation Fund, anchoring the fund's €33 million first close, which also saw commitments from a range of international and domestic investors. The fund will make equity and quasi-equity investments in startups in Morocco and expects to back about twenty over the course of its investment period.

Zebu Investments is making an investment in a Tanzanian retail bakery chain on behalf of its sophomore fund, the African Food Security Fund. The deal, the terms of which remained undisclosed as we went to press this week, sees the Africa-focused private equity fund manager buy a stake in Royal Oven, a quick-service restaurant chain which, since being launched in Dar es Salaam in 2008, now operates 19 locations across Tanzania. According to Zebu's website, the fund typically makes investments ranging from $2 million to $8 million in size.

Golden Square Equity Partners has entered into a deal to acquire London-listed ARC Minerals' interest in Casa Mining, owner of an almost 74% share of the Akyanga Gold Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The binding agreement sees Golden Square acquire ARC's 99.43% stake in the business as well as assume the company's debt as at the end of September last year.

GreenTec Capital Partners announced their latest investment last week. The Frankfurt-headquartered venture investor is backing Coliba, an Ivorian recycling and waste management startup, with an undisclosed amount of capital. GreenTec plans to work closely with the firm to help it scale and take advantage of its considerable market opportunity.

And finally this week, we excerpted the second piece from the ImpactAfica report for our series ESG and Africa's Unlisted Companies. This time, it's a case study of how d.light, the off-grid solar business is impacting people's lives on the continent.

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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