Averroès Africa, Proparco and Bpifrance’s 4th fund of funds
This new fund of funds aims at developing the private equity industry in Africa.
The Averroès program was first launched in 2003 by Bpifrance and Proparco to foster private equity market development. Made for North Africa at first, Averroès Finance III extended the program to the whole continent in 2015.
The previous editions gathered €1.2 billion in 20 funds of capital investment, 150 companies in 40 African countries. The 4th and last edition, Averroès Africa, follows the same scheme and is opened to subscriptions from French and foreign public and private third-party investors. They will complete the first closing round of €55 million to eventually reach a final target size of €100 million.
Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO of Bpifrance, commented: “This launch comes at a time when Africa is facing major challenges: the Covid-19 crisis, which requires greater support for small and medium-sized companies to maintain activity and employment, but also climate change, for which Africa is in the front line. We hope that Averroès Africa will contribute to meet those challenges.”
Following the Averroès Finance III scheme, Averroès Africa targets multi-sectoral private equity funds but mostly focuses on venture capital funds, with a multi-country, regional or pan-African dimension. In line with the African market evolution, Averroès Africa will now invest in financial services, health, and agribusiness funds for the first time.
The new fund of funds targets 10 to 12 companies in its portfolio. Averroès Africa will eventually offer exposure to more than a hundred African companies, from startups to medium-sized companies, in sectors closely linked with the emergence of the African middle-class, such as consumer goods, transport, and logistic, industry, education, and TMT (technology, media, telecom).
“AFD and Proparco's experience, tools, and network of partners make them key players in the financing of start-ups, VSEs, and SMEs on the continent. We are thus convinced that the African resilience and development mainly rely on the support of African businesses and entrepreneurs” said Gregory Clemente, CEO of Proparco.
More than financial performance, Averroès Africa wants to maximize its investment impact in terms of environmental, social, and governance issues, in line with Bpifrance and Proparco’s commitment to these issues. It will also create business flows between the portfolio’s African companies and French companies supported by Bpifrance and interested in the opportunities that the African market offers.
Proparco is a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency) dedicated to the private sector. It finances companies and financial institutions and helps them manage their activities’ impact. Proparco has been working for more than 40 years to promote sustainable development in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Proparco focuses on key development sectors such as infrastructure, agribusiness, financial institutions, health and education, financing to the tune of €2.5 billion in 2019. The organization supports private actors that contribute to Sustainable Development Goalsby creating new jobs, offering decent incomes, providing essential goods and services, reducing poverty, and fighting climate change. Africa represents 51% of Proparco’s activities.