The 5 most popular stories on Africa Private Equity News this week

Posted on: 18 July, 2020 at 12:25 PM

Here are summaries of the five most widely read stories this week on Africa Private Equity News.

1. Côte d’Ivoire commits €5m to Bamboo-managed fund

SDG500, a $500 million investment platform, dedicated to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has secured a new €5 million commitment from the Government of Côte d’Ivoire. The platform is managed by Bamboo Capital Partners.

SDG500 is an innovative finance vehicle to help close the SDG funding gap using blended finance and credit enhancement, representing a first for SDG-related assets in emerging and frontier markets. Its asset-backed securitisation issue structure is specifically designed to unlock new sources of funding at scale from institutional investors by offering market-based yields in three tranches to attract investors with different risk-return appetites.

2. Kenya: Forestry company raises $28m in equity funding

Komaza, a tech-enabled, sustainable forestry company has secured a first close of $28 million of its planned $33 million series B equity financing. With continued investment and support from its series A lead Novastar Ventures, this financing round was co-led by Novastar LPs AXA Investment Managers (through the AXA Impact Fund: Climate & Biodiversity) and the Dutch development bank FMO, with further participation by Mirova’s Land Degradation Neutrality Fund.

The Kenya-based company has planted over six million trees with 25,000 smallholder farmers to date, with annual plantings nearly doubling Kenya’s rate of commercial tree planting. This rate places the company among Africa’s top commercial tree planters. Komaza’s “microforestry” model represents a paradigm shift in the industry from large, costly plantations to distributed partnerships with local farmers. This shift yields an 80% cost disruption vs traditional plantations for every acre planted, while unlocking dramatically more land for forestry activities, especially those held by farmers around major cities.

3. DFC to launch regional team based in Africa

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced it is launching the Africa Investment Advisor Programme, which establishes a regional team based in Africa. The team will equip DFC to more proactively advance investments and expand its portfolio in this priority region, particularly as Africa continues to respond to both the health and economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new regional team will consist of investment advisors based across East Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, and the Horn of Africa. The advisors will be charged with sourcing investment opportunities across the continent, working alongside U.S. embassies and USAID missions, and supporting DFC colleagues in Washington by providing on-the-ground project due diligence and monitoring.

4. South Africa: Futuregrowth invests in SweepSouth

Asset management firm Futuregrowth added to its venture capital portfolio of early-stage growth companies in June when it invested in South Africa’s SweepSouth, an online platform for booking, managing and paying for home cleaning, and now a variety of other services.

The business, which was first established in June 2014, has expanded its offering from its personalised home cleaning roots to gardening and pool cleaning, heavy lifting, fixing and maintenance and, most recently, commercial sanitation. Its services are available in South Africa’s four major metropolitan areas, namely Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.

5. TradeDepot secures additional $10m from IFC, Partech, others

TradeDepot, the B2B ecommerce platform for consumer goods in Africa, has raised a further $10 million in a pre-Series B equity round co-led by Partech, International Finance Corporation, Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and MSA Capital. This is in addition to the $3 million series A led by Partech in 2018. TradeDepot will use the new investment to continue its integration of the fragmented informal retail supply chain in Nigeria, expand into other African cities and launch a suite of financial products and credit facilities, to support its retailers.

Since its launch in 2016, TradeDepot has built a network of more than 40,000 micro retailers in Nigeria. Working with global distributors and manufacturers including Nestlé, Unilever, GB Foods and Danone, TradeDepot makes household supplies, such as milk, soap, detergent and other essentials more accessible and affordable for the informal urban retail networks it operates in.

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