World Bank-backed International Financial Corporation (IFC) has launched a USD 225 Mn platform to strengthen venture capital ecosystems in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Pakistan. The platform will be backed by an additional USD 50 Mn from the Blended Finance Facility of the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window, which helps de-risk investments in low-income countries. In addition, IFC will mobilize capital from other development institutions and the private sector to support entrepreneurs and tech companies in those countries.
IFC’s new platform will invest in early-stage companies addressing development challenges through technological innovations in climate, healthcare, education, agriculture, e-commerce, and other sectors. IFC will make equity or equity-like investments in tech startups and help them grow into scalable ventures that can attract mainstream equity and debt financing. It will also use the platform to collaborate with other teams in the World Bank Group to create and bolster venture capital ecosystems through regulatory reforms, sector analyses, and other tools. The platform will also focus on investments in low-income and fragile countries and help generate a pipeline of credible early-stage companies.