African PE and VC Investments in February

African PE and VC Investments in February

by Marcelle Djaha

While February 2019 witnessed several Africa-focused private equities and venture capital (VC) fundraising announcements, the month has been relatively quiet in terms of deal-making. Here is a selection of notable transactions which came across our desk.

PRIVATE EQUITY

Development Partners International (DPI), a pan-African private equity firm, announced the latest investment of its African Development Partners II fund (ADP II) into International Facilities Services (IFS), a facilities management specialist in Africa. IFS provides a full suite of specialist facility management services to clients on remote sites across the African continent, including catering, maintenance, laundry and housekeeping.

CDG Capital Private Equity, the private equity firm focused on growth investments for SMEs in Morocco, announced an investment in SCE Chemicals, a company manufacturing chemicals, fertilisers and other chemical inputs for industrial clients in Morocco and abroad. SCE Chemicals distributes products like sulfonic acid, silicates, alumina sulphate, powdered sulfur, sulphuric acid and other chemical inputs for the detergent industry. The company serves the Moroccan market but also exports its products abroad.

Inside Capital Partners through its first fund, Inside Equity Fund specialised in financing regional expansion plans of SMEs in Southeast Africa, signed off a deal with the Latitude Hotels Group to finance its expansion. Inside will seed the development of three additional hotels in the region as well as fast track screening of fresh pipeline opportunities.

Inspired Evolution, an Africa-focused investment advisory firm that specialises in the clean energy sector, closed a R100 million ($7.2 million) investment facility by its Evolution II Fund into Commercial Energy SA – an affiliate of SolarAfrica. Commercial Energy SA offers a new innovative financing platform that provides funding solutions for long-term private commercial and industrial (C&I) solar PV customers, via SolarAfrica’s growing network of EPC contractor partners. Commercial Energy SA is positioned to benefit from the rapid growth evidenced in the South African C&I market over the past few years and be a first-mover to capitalise on the growing opportunities further afield in select sub-Saharan African countries.

VC / EARLY STAGE

South Africa’s PURA Beverage Company has received a significant undisclosed Series-A funding round from Knife Capital – a South African venture capital firm. PURA is an innovative low sugar and natural flavour beverage brand. It represents the evolution of soda and embraces the increasing consumer interest in health and wellbeing.

Nairobi-based mSurvey, Africa’s integrated customer experience company connecting businesses to their customers in real-time, has received follow-on investment by private sector financing institution Proparco. “Proparco’s investment rationale relies on the quality of the team leading mSurvey and the solution that the company has developed to tackle customer feedback needs in African countries,” commented Eric Zontsop, investment officer at Proparco.

African Management Initiative (AMI), a pan-African workplace learning company, has closed a $1.8 million Series-A funding round to support the expansion of its practical and scalable approach to skills development for Africa. Impact investment firm Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) has invested $1 million in AMI, joining existing funders AHL Ventures and the Argidius Foundation, who also contributed to the $1.8 million round.

South African AI start-up, Xineoh, concluded the second round of equity deals worth $1.5 million, attracting heavyweight investors, including Wade Flemons a seasoned investment banker, private equity managing director and entrepreneur from Vancouver, Canada. Xineoh first grabbed attention in 2017 when it raised $2 million in offshore venture capital as a small start-up based in the city of Bloemfontein.

Nigerian diagnostics start-up Stack Dx has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from early-stage fund Micro traction to help it expand its market share. With around 80,000 Nigerian women dying annually from breast cancer, and nearly five million from misdiagnosis of hepatitis diseases, Stack Dx was launched to provide molecular diagnostic services to patients, doctors, and hospitals in Africa.

Egyptian trucking marketplace Trella has raised more than $600,000 in a pre-seed funding round led by Algebra Ventures, as it bids to reduce costs for shippers by improving load utilisation and efficiency. The start-up’s platform connects shippers with carriers in real-time, with the goal of making the entire supply chain faster and more reliable while reducing slack and exceptions. It empowers drivers and reduces costs for shippers by improving load utilisation and efficiency, offering transparent pricing schedules, and enabling shipment tracking in real-time.

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