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UAE funds back investments in African startups

Partech Africa II has hard capital of $305 million, making it the largest venture capital fund for technology startups in Africa Unsplash.com/Desola Lanre-Ologun
Partech Africa II has hard capital of $305 million, making it the largest venture capital fund for technology startups in Africa

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company and French national investment bank Bpifrance have co-invested in an Africa-focused venture capital fund.

At the same time, Dubai Future District Fund, launched in 2020 by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has also invested in the Partech Africa II VC fund.

The capital investments of the two funds were not disclosed.

Partech Africa II, launched by Paris-headquartered technology investment firm Partech, has hard capital of €280 million ($305 million), making it the largest VC fund for technology startups in Africa.

The fund will provide $1 million to $15 million in initial tickets from seed to series C rounds to support the global expansion of African companies and startups.

“Africa is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for venture capital, and we are delighted to announce our first investment through the €350 million Africa co-investment partnership with Bpifrance,” said Andres Rodenas de la Vega, head of the France investment programme at Mubadala.

The two companies agreed in June 2021 to deploy up to €350 million through fund and direct investments in private equity and venture capital into African startups and small and medium-sized enterprises.

In a separate statement, Partech said that the oversubscribed final closing allowed new categories of global institutions from the US and Middle East pension funds and sovereign funds.

The new strategic investors include Dubai Future District Fund and Africa Re.

Bpifrance is also an investor in Partech’s first Africa fund, which achieved a final close of €125 million in January 2019.

Partech Africa I comprises a portfolio that operates in 27 countries across various sectors, from fintech to healthtech, logistics, and edtech. This portfolio attracted more than 10 percent of the VC investments in Africa in 2021 and 2022.

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