Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund( EAIF)'s loan book breaks the $1 billion mark. Sequoia Capital’s first investment in North Africa.

Another weekly round-up of news, trends, and insights for the Africa-focused business executive, finance professional, and policymaker. Subscribe to be notified of each edition.

This week:

1) Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund( EAIF)’s loan book breaks the $1 billion mark.

Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), the infrastructure debt business for the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and managed by Ninety One has seen its loan book break the $1 billion mark in 2020, with funding commitments to eight new projects, bringing the loan book value to US$1.04 billion.

Why is this important: According to the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa’s 2018 report, infrastructure spending in Africa rose to $100.8 billion between 2014-2018 an increase of 24 % and growing, while most African countries continue to experience rising debt-to-GDP ratio averaging at 55%. Leading to less scope for government capital expenditure in infrastructure projects and private investors like EAIF to explore and unlock the opportunities in the Africa infrastructure space.

2) Sequoia Capital’s first investment in North Africa.

Cario-based digital banking app Telda has raised $5 million in pre-seed funding, led by Sequoia Capital with participation from Class 5 Global and Global Founders Capital. It is the first company to receive a licence from the Central Bank of Egypt under the new Banking Agents regulations, empowering it to issue cards and onboard customers to its digital app.

Why is this important: By any measure, this is big for the Egyptian and North Africa startup space. Sequoia Capital is one of the most prominent venture capital firms in the world along with the likes of Andreessen Horowitz. It is an early backer of companies like Google, Linkedin, Airbnb, Yahoo, and Zoom.

Private Equity Deals  :

  • Malian-based solar company SolarX Africa has raised additional funding from Energy Access Ventures (EAV), an early-stage fund investing in decentralised energy companies across sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Egypt-based Diagnostics Holding Plc (IDH) a diagnostic service provider offering pathology and radiology services in Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, and Nigeria has received a loan of up to $45 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Venture Capital Deals:

  • Nigeria-based fintech -BFREE which focuses on improving consumer financial health through credit management has raised $800k seed funding from BetaVentures alongside Launch Africa Ventures and GreenHouse Capital. This new investment will be used to scale the company’s product offering.

  • Egyptian-based Bosta a shipping and delivery field has raised a $6.7m investment from Jordanian venture capital, Silicon Badia and 4DX. The investment will be used to fund its expansion strategy.

  • Egyptian-based Homzmart leading furniture and home good marketplace platform has closed a $15 million Series A funding to scale its offering. The capital raise was led by MSA Capital and Nuwa Capital, with other investors including Rise Capital, Impact46, EQ2 Ventures, and Outliers Ventures.

M & A Activities:

  • Kenya-based leading telecommunications company Safaricom has increased its controlling stake from 51% to 56% in Global Partnership for Ethiopia, a consortium that made the bid for one of the two telecom licenses in Ethiopia

  • Kenya-based Equity Group Holdings increased its equity stake in Equity Bank Congo (EBC) by 7.7% to a total holding of 94.3%.

  • Dutch-based brewing Heineken NV is in discussion with South African-based multinational brewing and beverage company Distell about a possible acquisition.

Fundraising Events:

  • Ascent an Africa private equity fund manager has closed its Ascent Rift Valley Fund II (ARVF II) at more than $100 million exceeding its initial target of $80 million.

  • South-Africa-based Sanlam Investment the country’s largest black-owned asset manager is looking to raise an additional $2.5 billion for its range of impact funds.

Economic Updates:

  • South Africa’s Reserve Bank unanimously voted to keep its benchmark repo rate unchanged at a record low of 3.5% during its May 2021 meeting.

  • The Bank of Mozambique has left its benchmark MIMO interest rate steady at 13.25% during May 2021.

  • The Central Bank of Zambia left its key interest rate unchanged at 8.5% at its recent meeting.

The Week Ahead:

  • 25th May - Nigeria’s Interest Rate Decision

  • 26th May - Kenya’s Interest Rate Decision Ivory Coast’s Inflation Rate YoY APR

  • 28th May - Uganda’s Inflation Rate and Angola’s Interest Rate Decision.

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