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Impact investing platform Bamboo Capital Partners’ Bloc Fund will invest between €200 000 and €2-million in tech startups from Smart Africa Alliance member states, so says Bamboo Capital Partners managing partner Florian Kemmerich.
The Smart Africa Alliance is a public-private platform, formed in 2013, to shape and drive Africa’s digital transformation, as well as accelerate sustainable socio-economic development.
The news follows an announcement last Thursday (16 May) at the Transform Africa Summit in Kigali by Luxembourg-based Bamboo that it had signed a strategic partnership with the Smart Africa Alliance to support its Bloc Fund.
The Bloc Fund, which Bamboo has said has a €100-million target size, is a “first-of-its-kind” blended finance technology impact fund which is aimed at underserved communities in emerging markets.
Bamboo Capital Partners’ Bloc Fund has a €100-million target size
The alliance currently has 26 member states, with founding members that include the AU Commission, African Development Bank, African Telecommunications Union, the GSM Association (GSMA) and the World Bank.
Smart Africa member states are Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, DR Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.
In a statement last Thursday (16 May), Bamboo said its partnership with Smart Africa will open up the alliance’s network to the Bloc Fund, support fundraising efforts, help source deal flow and provide access to local and regional technology ecosystems including incubators and accelerators.
Bamboo pointed out in its statement that in March, Togo’s government and Brazilian microfinance startup Moeda had committed €10-million for the first loss of Bloc.
Bamboo explained that the first loss commitments will de-risk investment and catalyse follow-on funding from other public and private investors.
The firm added that the fund will also make use of Moeda’s technological expertise to provide investors with full traceability of their investments.
The Bloc Fund, Bamboo said, will accept and invest both hard currencies (Euro and US dollar) and cryptocurrencies, using a Know Your Customer (KYC) platform to convert cryptocurrencies into either euros or US dollars.
Kemmerich (pictured above, left) told Ventureburn yesterday (20 May) that the Bloc Fund will particularly invest in the fintech, cleantech, healthtech, agritech, edtech and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) verticals.
Kemmerich encouraged prospective companies to email their pitch decks to the firm. “Thereafter, the team will assess, potentially retain and start due diligence,” he said.
He said the fund’s first investments will be made by Autumn 2019 (likely between September and December).
Featured image, left to right: Bamboo Capital Partners managing partner Florian Kemmerich pictured at the Transform Africa Summit, with Smart Africa director general Lacina Koné and Bamboo Capital Partners managing partner Jean-Philippe de Schrevel (second from right) (Bamboo Capital Partners via LinkedIn)