Africa Roundup: Partech Ventures launches $70M fund, TPG Progress acquires TRACE, Rensource raises $three.5M


Final month we characterised 2017 because the yr Sub-Saharan Africa’s startup scene discovered its stride. 2018 appears to be like to be the yr of quite a few VC investments.

TPG acquires TRACE

January received the funding occasion began. U.S.-based non-public fairness agency TPG Progress acquired a majority stake (of an undisclosed worth) in leisure firm TRACE. TRACE is a worldwide multimedia large for African music and movie content material with 200 million viewers and listeners in 160 international locations, 30 cellular providers, 21 pay TV channels and seven FM radio stations.

TPG Progress will “accomplice with TRACE’s co-founder and administration to construct a worldwide chief for Afro-urban music and leisure,” stated an organization launch.

There’ll possible be extra Africa investments for TPG Progress in 2018. Final October the agency raised  $2 billion for The Rise Fund, based by TPG managing accomplice Invoice McGlashan with Bono’s help.

Partech Ventures launches Africa fund and workplace

Paris-based VC agency Partech Ventures raised $70 million for an Africa fund and opened an workplace in Dakar, Senegal. The agency — with greater than 250 investments and 45 exits globally — pooled monetary help from companions reminiscent of IFC, European Funding Financial institution and Averroes Finance III.

Partech managing companions Cyril Collon and Tidjane Deme (a Google Africa alum) will handle the brand new fund. “The main target will probably be tech startups that harness massive rising market alternatives with their predominant exercise in Africa,” Partech’s Tidjane Deme advised TechCrunch. “We’ll search for alternatives in monetary inclusion, cellular and on-line shopper providers, mobility, provide chain providers and digitization of the casual economic system.” Preliminary funding rounds will probably be Collection A or B, with the opportunity of follow-on rounds to well-performing firms, in accordance with Deme.

Partech plans to hit the bottom interviewing startup candidates quickly. All of Africa is open, however Deme stated they’ll anticipate to recruit numerous ventures in international locations reminiscent of Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Cameroon.

Rensource secures $three.5M to energy Nigeria

Lagos-based renewable power startup Rensource raised $three.5 million in what it known as “Pre-Collection A bridge funding” from Amaya Capital Companions and Omidyar Community, amongst others.

“We’re a distributed power firm. We take power on to folks, companies and shoppers, as a result of we’re working in a market the place the grid principally doesn’t work,” stated Rensource founder Ademola Adesina. The corporate presents B2C and B2B photo voltaic and battery-based energy packages ( and repair) to people and companies, primarily in Lagos. On the B2B, Rensource “allows any variety of third events to be their very own power firm,” defined Adesina on the startup’s packages for small companies to buy after which promote Rensource providers and gear of their communities.

Rensource will use its new capital to develop to areas in Nigeria exterior of Lagos. Over the following few years, Adesina hopes the corporate can seize 5 p.c (or three million) of what he estimates is a 60 million unit market.

New York Instances, Ringier Africa partnership

In different tech media strikes, Ringier Africa will distribute New York Instances content material throughout Africa via a partnership with the U.S. information outlet.

The subsidiary of Swiss media group Ringier AG will provide choose NYT protection via three “Pulse with The New York Instances” websites in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. The web tales will probably be free to readers in Africa, with out subscription charges or article limits.

The partnership “is about bringing the content material that isn’t being learn but in Africa via distribution optimized for cellular and low broadband web to a wider inhabitants,” Ringier Africa CEO Leonard Stiegeler advised TechCrunch.

Roughly 100 million folks at present entry Ringier Africa’s Pulse platform. Because the continent’s web, cellular and pill penetration proceed to extend, digital content material consumption is anticipated to develop quickly. “There’ll be a whole lot of tens of millions of recent cellular screens in Africa…That’s why worldwide publishers have an interest,” stated Stiegeler.

Crypto replace

Lastly, an replace to TechCrunch reporting on Nigeria-based SureRemit’s plans to launch a crypto token geared toward remittances. The corporate’s January ICO raised $7 million in token purchases, which might now be used as cost via a community of retailers in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda.

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