Startups

This VC Fund Has Invested In 8 African Startups In 2019 & It’s Just For Starters


December 10, 2019

After achieving a final closing at USD 143 Mn in January 2019, Partech Africa Fund announced its presence in East Africa.

In 2018, Partech Africa Fund closed 3 deals while still fundraising but things appear to have gotten even better in 2019. Partech is ending 2019 on a high having completed 8 transactions — 6 new deals and 2 follow-on investments.

According to a press release, the Fund has been deployed accordingly to target mostly Series-A and Series-B startups; half of these tickets ranging between USD 3 Mn and USD 7 Mn.

Additionally, the Partech Africa Fund has also ventured into late seed investments with two companies, impressed with the quality of their founders and their early achievements.

In total, six (6) new outstanding teams have been added to the growing Partech Africa branch of the larger Partech Family. Its nine (9) portfolio companies work from six (6) countries in Africa and together have a great impact in their spaces: more than one 100,000+ merchants being served, over USD 4 Bn of financial transactions per year, and more than USD 20 Mn end-users.

While most of the new portfolio companies are yet to disclose their funding, Partech Africa Fund claims that those that have gone public with the fundraising are a fair representation of this group.

As an example, Kudi announced a USD 5 Mn round led by Partech in April 2019. Kudi is fast-mover in digital payments and collection for the cash economy in Nigeria which appears to have maintained a brisk pace. In less than a year, Kudi has grown its network and revenues by five times (5x) while maintaining very high capital efficiency.

Another example is Yoco; a leading South African fintech that builds tools and services to help entrepreneurs start, run and grow their businesses. In September, the company launched the Yoco Go, the most affordable card machine the market has ever seen.

Since then, Yoco has been adding new merchants at an unprecedented rate. The startup currently boasts serving more than 64,000 merchants across South Africa while being well on track to double its merchant base this year. Partech had led a USD 16 Mn Series-B round in Yoco earlier last year and also added a follow-on investment this year.

In Nigeria, TradeDepot, a mobile B2B trade platform that connects retailers in emerging markets directly to FMCG brands for ordering and delivery, has reached 30,000 active retailers in Nigeria alone with a GMV and revenue growth over 4x on a yearly basis. Last year, Partech led a USD 3 Mn investment in TradeDepot.

“These companies have validated our investment strategy: outstanding team, with a validated model, addressing fundamental economic opportunities that will build the next African champions,” says Tidjane Dème, General Partner at Partech Africa.

“We will continue to focus on financial inclusion, online and mobile consumer services, as well as mobility, supply chain services and digitization of the informal economy,” 

Cyril Collon, General Partner at Partech Africa, adds: “Even with 6 new investments this year and two re-investments, we had to be extremely selective: we’ve engaged over 600 companies raising money this year, among them many great startups led by strong entrepreneurs. It proves that the skyrocketing numbers of tech fundraising in Africa are supported by strong fundamentals.”

As has been conveyed in annual funding reports over the course of the last few years, the tech startup ecosystem in Africa is clearly one that is fast-growing. And the Partech Africa Fund seems well poised to continue making its mark on the ecosystem.

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