Mauritius’ VC Firm Surya Capital Plans To Invest USD 100 Mn In East Africa’s Fastest-Growing Companies

By  |  May 3, 2019

Mauritius-headquartered venture capital firm Surya Capital intends to invest some USD 100 Mn in its drive to make most of a long-term growth blueprint targeting East Africa’s schools and fintechs.

In a move which will be facilitated by its Ethiopian office, the firm will be investing in some of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, as it drives to control companies that feed the rising domestic demand.

Investments from Surya Capital, which is aimed to take advantage of the export potential in various East African nations, will focus on payments that leverage financial technology, healthcare, and the private education sector.

According to a statement from the firm, the companies that will benefit should have their headquarters in East Africa. Founder and CEO of the investment firm, Riaz Currimjee, said: “That doesn’t imply that these companies will not expand to other parts of Africa as they grow.”

Surya plans to build an East and Southern African chain of private schools that can be extended to other parts of the continent when they are completed. Ripping pages off South Africa’s PSG Group, the firm plans to take well-executed education projects to countries in need of it in the long run, such as Nigeria, where the education sector seems to be at a standstill.

Stellenbosch-based PSG, among other accomplishments, basks in the pride of S.A’s best-performing stock since it went public in the 1990s. Under the leadership of its founder, Jannie Mouton, the firm’s stocks were tweaked to suit a variety of markets, ultimately forming interests from agriculture to education, and stockbroking to banking by investing long-term while managing businesses with straightforward operating models.

Surya owns a flower farm in Ethiopia, a USD 10 Mn investment which currently exports premium carnations to the Netherlands. The firm which also has a presence in Tanzania and London lays claims to a capital goods leasing business which it acquired for USD 25 Mn.

Per a statement from Currimjee, doing business in East Africa trumped operating in “exciting” and “entrepreneurial” Nigeria because a branch of his family has been doing business in the region for more than 200 years. These are also more diversified economies that are not solely dependent on commodities, he said.

East Africa Capital Partners, a VC firm focused on tech, media, and telecommunications is another regional player in the business landscape. According to CrunchBase, the firm has made a single USD 18.8 Mn in Wananchi Group, a Nairobi-based home entertainment operator.

Among many others, United States-based Oui Capital plans to invest in startups from Kenya, Nigeria and S.A with its USD 10 Mn fund, while Nairobi-based Novastar Ventures has invested in 15 companies among which are sub-regional players.

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