Partech doubled its venture capital fund in Africa to $143 million and opened an office in Nairobi to complement its Dakar practice.
The Partech Africa Fund plans to make 20 to 25 investments in around ten countries over the next few years, according to its general partner Tidjane Deme. The fund added Cesar Nyagha as Investment Manager for the Kenya office to expand its presence in East Africa.
Partech Africa will primarily target Series A and B and some pre-series rounds at higher amounts. “We will be looking at seed funding – what we call seed plus notes – in the order of $500,000,” Deme told TechCrunch in a call from Dakar.
“In terms of sectors, we are agnostic. We looked at all… sectors. We are open to all plays; we have a strong appetite for people who exploit Africa’s informal economies,” he said.
African startups interested in participating in the new fund should request a referral. “My usual recommendation is to find someone who can introduce you to any member of the team. We get a lot of requests…but an introduction and a recommendation…shortcuts for all of that,” Deme said.
Based in Paris, Partech has offices in Berlin, San Francisco, Dakar and now Nairobi. To grow the Africa fund to $143 million, the venture capital firm tapped a number of other funds, several undisclosed venture capital arms and development finance institutions.
They understand Averroes Finance III, the IFC, the EIB and the African Development Bank. Deme did not want to give figures, but confirmed that “the IFC and the European Bank have committed the largest amounts”.
On why players like the IFC, which has its own venture capital boutique for African startups, would place capital with Partech, Deme explained: “many already have mandates to co-invest… others may not know this territory as well and would prefer to invest in another. funds” with regional experience.
Partech took advantage of this experience in 2018 to make four investments in African startups (two undisclosed). They led the $16 million funding round from South African fintech company Yoco (covered here at TechCrunch) and a $3 million seed round in Nigerian B2B e-commerce platform Commercial deposit.
Partech Africa has joined several Africa-focused funds in recent years to mark a surge in venture capital for startups on the continent. Partech announced its first fundraising of $70 million in early 2018 alongside TLcom Capital 40 million dollars, and TPG Growth 2 billion dollars.
Africa-focused venture capital firms, including locally owned and operated ones, have grown to 51 globally, according to a recent study. Crunchbase Search.
As for total venture capital spending on African technology, the numbers can vary widely.
According to Partech figures, compiled from a annual survey he carries out on Africafunding for African startups in 2017 reached $560 million.
Partech has not released its Africa VC estimate for 2018, but this will now be up about $70 million from its recent increase.