AfricInvest & Cathay fund misses target

AfricInvest and Cathay Innovation have touched final close on their Africa-focused early-stage vehicle, missing its target by about 27%.

The investors have brought in approximately $112 million (€110 million) for the final close of Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund (CAIF), having originally set out to target €150 million.

AfricInvest and Cathay are joint managers on the fund, sharing the fundraising and fund management mandates on the vehicle.

The fund is carrying capital from development finance investors (DFIs), commercial investors and high-net-worth individuals based in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

LPs in the fund include Africa Development Bank (AfDB) which committed €9.8 million to the fund in earlier in 2022.

AfDB invested €7 million directly from its balance sheet – and €2.8 million through the European Union (EU) via the Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) platform.

Other LPs in the fund include Obviam, through the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) committed €7 million to Cathay Africinvest Innovation Fund in 2019.

FMO also allocated €4.4 million into CAIF in 2019. Proparco also committed €7 million into Cathay CAIF in 2019.

Other LPs in the fund include Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), having committed €4 million to the fund in 2021. BIO structured the commitment through the SDG Frontier Fund, an emerging markets-focused fund-of-funds closed at €36 million earlier in 2022.

Triodos Investment Management AfricaGrow, and Bpifrance are also LPs in CAIF.

“AfricInvest’s partnership with Cathay Innovation brings to Africa global expertise in the innovation space combined with a robust network in Europe, the US and Asia, all helping to build bridges between Africa and the rest of the world, allowing the fund’s investees to grow into regional and global champions,” said Yassine Oussaifi, partner at AfricInvest and co-head of CAIF.

Khaled Ben Jilani, senior partner at AfricInvest and co-head of CAIF represented the investor.

Mingpo Cai, founder and chairman of Cathay Capital and Cathay Innovation represented the investor.

Deals from the fund include backing a $14.5 million second-tranche investment into the series-A funding round of WhereIsMyTransport (WIMT), South Africa-based technology company focused on the logistics space, delivered in 2021.

Other deals from the fund include investing in an $8 million series-A funding round in GoMyCode, investing alongside Proparco- delivered earlier in 2022.

Domiciled in Mauritius, Cathay Africinvest Innovation Fund is structured as a venture capital fund, that will back early-stage financial technology companies, across Africa.

Although generalist, the vehicle will primarily focus on insurance, logistics, healthcare, and off-grid renewable energy technology deals.

Deal sizes will range between €3 million and €15 million per transaction.

Debevoise and Plimpton is legal advisor on the fund