Partech is doubling the size of its African venture fund to $143 million


Partech
 has doubled its Africa VC fund to $143 million and
opened a Nairobi office to complement its Dakar practice.

The Partech Africa Fund plans to make 20 to 25 investments
across roughly 10 countries over the next several years, according
to General Partner Tidjane Deme. The fund has added Ceasar
Nyagha
 as Investment Officer for the Kenya office to expand
its East Africa reach.

Partech Africa will primarily target Series
A
 and B investments and some pre-series rounds at higher
dollar amounts. “We will consider seed-funding—what we call
seed-plus—tickets in the $500,000 range,” Deme told TechCrunch
on a call from Dakar.

“In terms of sectors, we’re agnostic. We’ve been looking
at all…sectors. We’re open to all plays; we have a strong
appetite for people who are tapping into Africa’s informal
economies,” he said.

African startups who want to pitch to the new fund should seek a
referral. “My usual recommendation is to find someone who can
introduce you to any member of the team. We receive a lot of
requests…but an intro and recommendation…shortcuts one through
all that,” Deme said.

Headquartered in Paris, Partech has offices in Berlin, San
Francisco, Dakar, and now Nairobi. To bring the Arica fund to $143
million the VC firm tapped a number of other funds, several
undisclosed corporate venture arms, and development finance
institutions.

They include Averroes
Finance III
, the IFC, the EBRD, and African Development Bank.
Deme would not list figures, but confirmed “the IFC and European
Bank for Reconstruction committed the largest amounts.”

On why players like the IFC, which has its own VC shop for
African startups, would place capital with Partech, Deme explained,
“many have existing mandates to co-invest…others may not know
this territory as well and would rather invest in another fund”
with regional experience.

Partech used that experience in 2018 to make 4 investments in
African startups (2 undisclosed). They led the $16 million round in
South African fintech firm Yoco (covered
here at TechCrunch
) and a $3 million round in Nigerian B2B
e-commerce platform TradeDepot.

Partech Africa joined several Africa focused funds over the last
few years to mark a surge in VC for the continent’s startups.
Partech announced its first raise of $70 million in early 2018 next
to TLcom
Capital’s
 $40 million, and TPG
Growth’s
 $2 billion.

Africa focused VC firms, including those locally run and
managed, have grown to 51 globally, according to recent Crunchbase
research
.

As for a bead on total VC spending for African tech, figures can
vary widely.

By Partech’s numbers, compiled from an annual
survey it does on Africa
, 2017 funding for African startups
reached $560 million.

Partech hasn’t released its 2018 Africa VC estimate but it
will now be up  some $70 million more from its own recent
raise.

Source: FS – All Tech News 2
Partech is doubling the size of its African venture fund to 3 million