The Nerve Desk

The Nerve Desk

Impact investment group closes SME-focused fund for a second time at $85m

Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), the impact investing group dedicated to small and medium-sized African companies has announced an intermediate closing of its fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 (IPAE 2), after reaching a total amount of €75 million ($84.9 million).

The fund launched in December 2017 had a first closing of €50 million. The second closing which amounts to €25 million allowed investors such as
the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) to join the fund. Other investors include Bpifrance, Crédit Coopératif and FPS Mirova Solidaire. The IDA 18 IFC-MIGA Private Sector Window also joined the fund. The investment vehicle (IDA) created by the World Bank Group is aimed at to mobilizing private sector investment in IDA-only countries.

Through the fund, I&P has invested in four SMEs, including Afribon, specialized in the development, production and marketing of food flavors, the African Management Initiative (AMI), offering professional training to African entrepreneurs and managers, CoinAfrique, the leader in mobile classifieds in French-speaking Africa, and PROCRÉA, an Ivorian clinic specialized in the field of reproductive health. The fund also aims to support more than 30 companies in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2022. The fund will complete a third and final closing by the end of June.

IPAE 2 is currently one of the largest funds in the impact investing sector dedicated to African SMEs. While SMEs are increasingly identified as key actors for inclusive growth on the continent, they still face many obstacles, including notably access to finance and skills.

I&P has also raised a technical assistance budget of more than €2.9 million from several of its public investors, which will complement the team’s support through expert missions in the company’s fields of activity or in the social, environmental and governance areas.

IPAE 2 aims to invest in equity and quasi-equity in 30 to 40 startups and companies located in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean, pursuing the mission of the group Investisseurs & Partenaires to promote a new generation of African entrepreneurs. The investment team dedicated to IPAE comprises about ten members based in Paris and in six African offices in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Madagascar and Senegal.