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CPDIF hits first close at $120m

Anna Lyudvig
Aug. 4, 2021, 9:49 p.m.
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Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF) has reached its first close at $120m, targeting a final size of $250m.

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Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF) has reached its first close at $120m, targeting a final size of $250m.

Brandon Doyle, CEO of Convergence Partners, said: “We are delighted to have achieved this milestone particularly given the headwinds in African PE fundraising generally, and the impact of the Covid pandemic on business activity, over the past 12 months.”

“We are very pleased with the level of support from both repeat and new investors and believe this reflects our solid track record and the opportunity CPDIF presents at this crucial time in both a tech and African context.”

Investors in CPDIF include leading institutions that continue to support African growth such as the CDC Group, DFC, EIB, IFC and Proparco.

CPDIF investments will be driven by the infrastructure needs of the emerging growth themes in the digital infrastructure ecosystem, specifically fibre, wireless, data centres, towers etc., as well as 5G, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), fintech and network virtualisation.

CPDIF’s first investment was in Ctrack, a transaction that was announced earlier in the year.

Despite the advances in the rollout of digital infrastructure on the Continent, fixed broadband penetration in sub-Saharan Africa still lags far behind at about 7% of the population.

There is a massive investment opportunity that still exists to address digital inclusion with the World Bank estimating that more than $100bn of capital is required to bring sub-Saharan Africa to acceptable levels of digital access by 2030.

CPDIF is a continuation of the strategy that has been successfully implemented by Convergence Partners since inception in 2006 across its funds under management.

Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners, said: “In the past 20 years, we have witnessed the exponential growth of internet penetration on the African continent. Internet penetration in sub-Saharan Africa alone has grown tenfold, compared to the threefold increase the rest of the world has seen. As Convergence Partners, we pride ourselves on contributing to this growth through our numerous communication infrastructure investments across the Continent.”

“However, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that there is still much work to drive digital inclusion. Today, Africa is experiencing the highest growth in international internet bandwidth compared to any other region in the world. As we embark on this journey as CPDIF, the next twelve years will be spent continuing to build on our original vision of ubiquitous pan-African communications. As the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) commences in the same year, we embark on the next step of our journey as Convergence Partners. We believe that AfCFTA will benefit immensely from the availability of digital infrastructure. Our greatest strength is our knowledge of technology, investments, and deep understanding of the African market and cultures.”

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