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AfricaGrow invests in Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund

Anna Lyudvig
Oct. 29, 2020, 10:22 p.m.

Word count: 414

The AfricaGrow fund of funds (FoF), launched by Allianz Global Investors, has committed €15m to the Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund (CAIF), managed by AfricInvest.

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The AfricaGrow fund of funds (FoF), launched by Allianz Global Investors, has committed €15m to the Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund (CAIF), managed by AfricInvest.

AfricaGrow, which is the product of a public-private cooperation between KfW Entwicklungsbank (on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)), Allianz and DEG, launched November last year with a target volume of €200m.

Jan Martin Witte, Director of the equity finance department of KfW, said: "With the AfricaGrow fund of funds, KfW Entwicklungsbank is implementing a key initiative of the development investment fund, which was launched by Chancellor Merkel during the "Compact with Africa" summit in Berlin in October 2018. We are pleased that with Allianz Global Investors we have found a competent partner who drives forward the implementation of the fund of funds' investment strategy.”

“We are convinced that these initial investments will make a significant contribution to the creation of growth and jobs in Africa.”

AfricInvest, based in Tunisia, is pursuing a pan-African growth strategy through its VC fund, CAIF.

It focuses on potential market leaders whose goal is to introduce established global technology concepts to the African region and to stand out mainly through innovative technologies.

CAIF has invested in three portfolio companies so far.

One of them is, for example, a company that offers an operating system for conventional cell phones (in contrast to the very high cost of a smartphone in Africa compared to the average employee's earnings), thus also enabling the lower middle class to participate in the digital world, for example through digital payment transactions or low cost communication.

AfricaGrow has now made its first two investments of around €15m each into SPE AIF I and the CAIF.

SPE AIF I is a target fund of SPE Capital Partners, a private equity fund manager based in Tunisia.

It focuses on investments in portfolio companies located in North Africa and with strong growth potential in sectors such as manufacturing, services, logistics, healthcare and education.

Currently, the target fund is invested in four portfolio companies in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

Martin Ewald, Managing Director and Lead Portfolio Manager Impact Investments of Allianz Global Investors, said: "Through the cooperation with SPE Capital Partners and AfricInvest, we have found excellent partners who have convinced us with their extensive network and local expertise and who mirror the investment strategy of AfricaGrow.”

“The two investments lay the grounds for a balanced portfolio, which we will enrich in the near future with further capital placements in the African market,” he added.

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