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Dakar: Partech Ventures announces VC fund for Africa

18. Janu­ary 2018

Berlin/Dakar — Partech Ventures announ­ces the launch of the Partech Africa Fund: The fund has a target volume of 100 million euros — more than 57 million euros of which have already been secu­red. This makes the Partech Africa fund the first fund from a top VC dedi­ca­ted exclu­si­vely to Africa’s rapidly growing tech ecosystem.

Partech Africa focu­ses on early-stage growth finan­cing and aims to help talen­ted Afri­can teams and their tech­no­lo­gies take advan­tage of growth oppor­tu­nities in emer­ging markets with finan­cing between €0.5 and €5 million. Partech Africa is desi­gned as a gene­ra­list tech­no­logy fund whose target sectors range from the finan­cial scene (FinTech, Insur­Tech, new distri­bu­tion models) to online and mobile services (commerce, enter­tain­ment, lear­ning, digi­tal services) to mobi­lity, supply chain services and the digi­tiz­a­tion of the infor­mal economy.

The fund starts against the back­drop of an emer­ging and fast-growing market. “Tech VC invest­ments in Africa, with ticket sizes ranging from $200,000 to $40 million, have incre­a­sed almost tenfold in recent years, from $40 million in 2012 to $367 million in 2016. Already, the sector is growing much faster than the projec­ted $1 billion annu­ally by 2020,” explains Cyril Collon (photo right), Gene­ral Part­ner at Partech Africa. “Most invest­ment rounds in Africa have been led by inves­tors based in the US or EU. The ecosys­tem is ready for local play­ers, with Afri­can teams funding the best Afri­can startups.”

As a key compo­nent of Partech’s global plat­form, Partech Africa will prima­rily bene­fit from the trans­at­lan­tic VC’s vast indus­try exper­tise, unique port­fo­lio support and busi­ness deve­lo­p­ment skills. “Partech’s highly hands-on team with its hands-on menta­lity, which closes more than 70 invest­ments per year, will also greatly bene­fit Afri­can foun­ders,” adds Tidjane Dème (photo left), Gene­ral Part­ner of Partech Africa. “Thanks to our global part­ner network, our dedi­ca­ted busi­ness deve­lo­p­ment teams will help Afri­can star­tups estab­lish and deepen conta­cts with the Euro­pean as well as the U.S. market to make long-term stra­te­gic part­ners­hips and trade agree­ments possible.”

High-profile inves­tors come toge­ther at Partech Africa
The launch of Partech Africa is also suppor­ted by key finan­cial insti­tu­ti­ons, inclu­ding the IFC (member of the World Bank Group), the Euro­pean Invest­ment Bank (EIB) and Aver­roès Finance III (the fund of funds mana­ged by Bpif­rance and co-suppor­­ted by Proparco).

“Tech­no­lo­gi­cal progress can have a huge trans­for­ma­tive impact in Africa, espe­cially in sub-Saha­ran Africa. There is huge untap­ped poten­tial for entre­pre­neu­rial energy here,” said Phil­ippe Le Houé­rou, Chief Execu­tive Offi­cer of IFC. “Africa’s popu­la­tion is very young — there are many people here with strong tech­ni­cal skills and inno­va­tive ideas that can improve the lives of many. What they still lack is the necessary finan­cial support. We believe the Partech Africa fund will make an important contri­bu­tion to closing this finan­cing gap and driving entre­pre­neurs­hip and growth.”

Partech Africa is also suppor­ted by the giant mobile network opera­tor Orange, as well as leading play­ers in emer­ging markets such as Eden­red and JCDe­caux Holding.

“As one of the leading trail­bla­zers in the Afri­can tech­no­logy indus­try, Orange is stron­gly pushing for the next pan-Afri­can digi­tal cham­pions to emerge and grow. Our commit­ment to Partech Africa is an important part of our Orange Digi­tal Ventures Africa initia­tive, which aims to acce­le­rate the growth and scala­bi­lity of inno­va­tive tech­­no­­logy-driven compa­nies,” said Pierre Louette, Deputy Chief Execu­tive Offi­cer of Orange and Chair­man of Orange Digi­tal Investment.

Partech Ventures once again as a trailblazer
In recent years, Partech Ventures has repeatedly been a pioneer in the further deve­lo­p­ment of the inter­na­tio­nal venture capi­tal market: The company was one of the first Euro­pean VCs to open an office in Sili­con Valley and has since deve­lo­ped into one of the few success­ful trans­at­lan­tic as well as pan-Euro­­pean play­ers with teams in San Fran­cisco, Paris and Berlin.

“We are exci­ted to now be present on three conti­nents with the opening of our head­quar­ters in Dakar, Sene­gal. Not only does this make us even more global, but it also gives us an even better and more compre­hen­sive under­stan­ding of emer­ging inno­va­tions and global tech trends,” says Phil­ippe Collom­bel, Co-Mana­­ging Part­ner of Partech Ventures. “In many areas, we see Afri­can entre­pre­neurs leading the way with their inno­va­tions in a wide variety of emer­ging markets. They’re using digi­tal tools and crea­tive busi­ness models to solve pres­sing problems, tapping into huge, previously untap­ped market segments — and that’s just the beginning.”

About Partech Ventures
Foun­ded in Sili­con Valley in 1982, Partech Ventures is a globally active invest­ment company with offices in Paris, Berlin, San Fran­cisco and Dakar. A large number of the part­ners are them­sel­ves entre­pre­neurs or have held manage­ment posi­ti­ons in tech­no­logy compa­nies. The company opera­tes and invests as a team, helping entre­pre­neurs from Europe, the U.S. and Africa build fast-growing tech­no­logy and digi­tal compa­nies that address large markets on multi­ple conti­nents. To this end, Partech Ventures invests in seed‑, venture- and growth-stage entre­pre­neurs. Since its incep­tion, Partech has success­fully comple­ted 21 IPOs and assis­ted in more than 50 major M&A tran­sac­tions. Since 2012, the Partech Ventures team has built a pionee­ring busi­ness deve­lo­p­ment plat­form that fosters busi­ness rela­ti­ons­hips and syner­gies between entre­pre­neurs and stra­te­gic partners.
About Partech Africa partners

Cyril Collon has held various manage­ment posi­ti­ons at mobile and Inter­net compa­nies, always with a consis­tent focus on Africa and the Middle East. Most recently, he spent four years as VP Sales for Europe and Africa at Vers­com Solu­ti­ons, a leading systems inte­gra­tor pionee­ring cloud/SaaS packet voice solu­ti­ons for emer­ging markets. He has also gained network trans­for­ma­tion expe­ri­ence at Genband, worked at UTStar­com to deploy the first IP-based mobile networks in Africa, and worked at Ascend Commu­ni­ca­ti­ons, a global leader in infra­st­ruc­ture for Inter­net service provi­ders. Cyril grew up on the Afri­can conti­nent until the age of 18.

Tidjane Dème led Google offices in Africa for over seven years, was respon­si­ble for YouTube stra­tegy in the region, drove major broad­band infra­st­ruc­ture invest­ments, and worked to deve­lop the Afri­can tech ecosys­tem. Prior to joining Google, Tidjane was foun­der and CEO of Common­Sys, an IT consul­ting firm in West Africa. He also worked with Sili­con Valley startup Cosine Commu­ni­ca­ti­ons as well as CapGe­mini to deve­lop large-scale ISP-focu­­sed IT solu­ti­ons. Tidjane grew up in Dakar (Sene­gal) until the age of 19.

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