Last week in brief…July 19th, 2021
All the deal activity we reported on last week happened north of the Sahara. It was the first time that’s this year which has otherwise seen a lot of deal activity across the continent. And, as has been a feature of deal activity in North Africa this year, most of it was in the venture capital space.
We lead with the news of elmenus‘s latest round. The Egyptian food ordering and delivery startup, which has already raised $9.5 million from its Series A and Series B rounds in 2017 and 2020, has just closed its pre-Series C round, raising another $10 million from a trio of first-time investors, Fawry, the digital payments business, Luxor Capital, a hedge fund in New York, and Marakez, a real estate development firm. elmenus will use the capital to underpin its momentum. The startup has posted some impressive topline numbers. It already has over 1.5 million monthly users and expects to have 12.000 restaurants across 20 cities in Egypt on its platform by the end of the year.
Staying in Egypt, Eventtus, a venture-backed event management software startup has been acquired by Bevy, another event industry startup based in the USA. The terms of the sale have not been made available, but Eventtus’s founders and software engineering team are all joining Bevy. The deal gives Eventtus’s backers which include Algebra Ventures, 500 Startups, Hala Ventures, and DAAL VC, full exits from their investment.
Yodawy, an online pharmacy headquartered in Cairo announced the wrap-up of its Series B last week. A group of investors led by Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Algebra Ventures, and Global Ventures are investing $7.5 million in the startup without disclosing any additional terms. The other investors participating in the round include CVentures, Athaal Angel Investors Group, and P1 Ventures. The 3-year-old business will use the capital to expand and diversify its offering and enter new markets. The business has already integrated 3,000 pharmacies with its platform, struck deals with 8 health insurance providers, and fulfilled 800,000 orders for clients since its founding.
News seeped out that BluePeak Private Capital approved its maiden fund’s first investment. The Tunis-based based credit investment specialist will invest $16 million in SOTUPA via the BluePeak Private Capital Fund which was launched in 2019 with a goal of $200 million. Details of the structure or terms of the investment have not been made available. SOTUPA is a well-established business based in Boujhar, Tunisia. The firm, which was founded in 1970, sells disposable hygiene products, (such as diapers, tissues, and feminine hygiene products), as well as hair and body personal care products to consumers in Tunisia and as many as 25 other countries. It plans to use the investment capital to support its ongoing expansion plans.
In fundraising news, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, a San Francisco-based venture firm with a couple of African startups in its portfolio, has held the final close for its fourth fund, handily beating its original target by 25%. The sustainability-focused investment firm has raised $250 million from a mix of impact-focused institutions, foundations, and family offices. EIF’s original goal for the fund was $200 million. Even without the extra $50 million raised, EIF IV was going to be the largest investment fund ever raised by the firm since its launch in 2010 as well as being one of the largest sustainability-focused funds raised in the market so far this year.
Africa Capital Digest reported last week that International Finance Corporation was one of the institutions committing to the $207 million first close for Vantage Capital‘s latest mezzanine fund. The DFI confirmed that the $25 million commitment marks its first backing for an Africa-focused mezzanine fund, and consequently, the first time mezzanine investment specialist Vantage has benefited from their backing. South Africa-based Vantage Capital has set its sights on raising $350 million by final close, with a hard cap of $400 million, which is expected to take place at the tail end of this year.
CDC has approved a $50 million trade finance facility with Ecobank International to help buttress systemic liquidity and vital supply chains in many African markets. With the pandemic negatively impacting trade flows, business operations, and jobs across the continent, the facility is expected to help with the continent’s economic recovery, generating between $70 million and $140 million in additional trade annually. Ecobank International will use the capital to provide credit support and trade finance lines to local banks, helping them meet their liquidity needs and support commerce in their markets which have been severely impacted by the economic fallout from the pandemic.
There were a number of items of interesting job moves last week. The most high-profile item is the news that two partners from Emerging Capital Partners‘ Nairobi office are joining Alterra Capital Partners. Bryce Fort and Paul Maasdorp are joining the Africa-focused private equity firm to launch a new investment vehicle focused on opportunities on the continent. Both had been with ECP for over a decade and will continue to work with some of the portfolio businesses they backed during that period.
Amethis, another private equity firm, has also hired a new Partner to develop an investment vehicle. This 0ne will back European SMEs with aspirations to expand on the African continent. Nicolas Manardo has been recruited for the role from LBO France where he’d been working for three years. He has more than a decade’s worth of experience investing in small and mid-cap businesses in France and the broader European region.
Meanwhile, International Finance Corporation has appointed a 23-year veteran of the organization to be the DFI’s Senior Country Manager for Nigeria to replace Eme Essien Lore who has left the institution after 6 years in the role. Kalim M. Shah joined IFC in 1998 and has worked in several successively senior investment roles across a number of geographies within the organization.
Oikocredit has promoted Sébastien Rigaud to the position of Regional Equity Manager to support and expand the social impact investor’s investment strategy and portfolio in Africa. In his new role, Rigaud will manage a portfolio of equity investments, lead Oikocredit’s Africa team, and collaborate with Regional Directors and Investment Managers to promote the firm’s strategic objectives for the continent.
And finally, be sure to take a look at our latest Africa Snapshot. This week, the subject is Tanzania’s agricultural sector. Africa Insight Advisors is partnering with Africa Capital Digest to produce regular Snapshots of interest to Africa’s private capital market investors and their advisors, so look out for future ones too.
That’s it for this week. As always, you can review these and other stories by clicking through to this week’s preview edition of the newsletter.
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