AfDB endorses €9.8M Fund for African Startups

The African Development Bank (AfDB), Board of Directors, has endorsed a €9.8 million equity investment to stimulate venture capital investments in African entrepreneurs at all stages of development.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) will provide €7 million from its own funds to the equity fund, while the European Union (EU) will invest €2.8 million in partnership with the Organization of African, California and Pacific States (OACPS).

Cathay-AfricInvest Innovation Fund will use the funds to help it reach its aim of raising €110 million to invest in over 20 early-stage businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Innovation Fund focuses on financial inclusion (financial tech and insurance technology), logistics, retail systems for mobile users and online users, pay as you go, healthcare innovations and off-grid power solutions.

The Innovation Fund recently expanded its focus on start-ups that can benefit from the Covid-19 virus epidemic’s digital opportunities, or are capable of contributing to the fight against coronavirus. AfricInvest Capital Partners, Cathay Innovation SAS and Cathay Innovation SAS co-sponsor the Mauritius-based Fund.

“The Bank’s clearance signals another key step forward in the integration of the Boost Africa Program and its partnership with the EU, OACPS, and the European Investment Bank,”Stefan Nalletamby, AfDB Director Financial Sector Development.

“It illustrates the importance given to Africa’s tech-enabled rising entrepreneurs, as well as the significant role played by AfricInvest and Cathay Innovation in aiding this important business segment in attaining Africa’s growth, reform, and integration aspirations.”

More than 40% of its initiatives are located in multiple African countries. One third of its investments go to West Africa. One-quarter (25%) of all shareowner start-ups are located in the healthcare industry.

AfricaGrow of Germany’s KfW/Allianz GI, Swiss impact investor Obviam as well as France’s public investment bank BPI and development financing organization Proparco, as well as are among the other investors.

The Organization of African Caribbean and Pacific States, The African Development Bank, The European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB), collaborate to support investment funds that are focused on innovative early-stage businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The African Creation Bank’s financing supports the program’s goals of increasing innovation and entrepreneurship across Africa, establishing modern and top-quality job opportunities for young Africans and promoting the growth of an efficient entrepreneurial environment.

The Bank will provide assistance to help create a new generation of African entrepreneurs that can serve as role models for young innovators.

It will also assist young and female-led start-ups, as well as extend access to financial and “real sector” goods and services, using appropriate technology and innovation.

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