Connecting African Entrepreneurs to the world with the first Pan-African Venture Capital Fund

May 4, 2020

Source: Blogpost co-signed by Mr. Denis BARRIER and Mr. Khaled Ben Jilani

Africinvest and Cathay Innovation proudly announced today the launch of Cathay Africinvest Innovation. This new fund is the largest venture capital fund in Africa with nine offices interconnecting the entire African continent.

Our aim is simple: contribute to changing the financing and development of startups in this continent of 1.3 Billion of people. How so? By providing the right funding for the creation of new digital infrastructures and services in Africa, and by connecting the whole continent and the world’s leading innovation ecosystems and players. Why now? Because the African ecosystem is ready. This is the right time for such an initiative.

The Africinvest and Cathay teams have known each other for years. When we started discussing this project, the fit was perfect — we knew we could create a unique initiative that should reward our investors with outstanding returns, help great African entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams while improving the lives of so many people through technology, and maybe even impact the way innovation is developed in a continent with more than a billion of people.

Africinvest is the leading Private Equity firm in Africa, with more than US$ 1.5 Billion under management, offices in 9 African countries, and more than 20 years of knowledge, expertise and track record of succesfully investing in the continent. Cathay Innovation is a VC affiliated to Cathay Capital, who built a unique platform covering Europe-China-USA and dedicated to finance and support operationnaly the growth of digital startups in those geographies. Also Cathay Innovation enjoys a full set of Fortune 500 companies partnering with Cathay invested startups, and who could find an interest about also partnering African startups through an initiative at the scale of the whole continent.

As the bounds of trust, respect and friendship are established, our parnership can really blend a team operating succesfully for long in the African continent, and a team with strong tech and startup financing expertise. This harmony will enable to leverage operationnaly in the same initiative an infrastructure covering Africa, the access to the ecosystems of France/Europe/China/US, and deep relationships with more than 10 of the largest companies in the world. That’s why we believe that what we announded today represents a unique blend to make a difference for African Entrepreneurs eager to have a big impact in Africa and be fully connect to the world.

Digital entrepreneurship is thriving in Africa

Archetypical of the rising stars of Africa’s burgeoning startups is Obi, a young entrepreneur based in Lagos, a town of more than 12 million of citizens. He built a fintech company that illustrates the continent’s growth and potential. Obi’s company deploys disruptive digital technologies that enables financial inclusion, automates banking and facilitates payments in Africa. It began as a platform enabling African financial institutions to replace expensive and rigid manual processes with agile and fully automated alternatives. In the next stage, the company applied cutting edge AI algorithms to extract insights and real time interactions for better decision making and to enhance the customer experience. Then his company started offering a shared service on a secure cloud infrastructure to enable digital services and channel management to serve the microfinance industry. This combination not only enabled the company to develop profitability, but was also an approach that favored financial inclusion.

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