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Luxembourg and Cote d’Ivoire to invest in African tech impact fund

The Governments of Luxembourg and Cote d’Ivoire will invest a total of EUR10 million into Bamboo Capital Partners’s BLOC Smart Africa, a technology impact fund with a target of EUR100 million.

The move follows Cote d’Ivoire’s previous intention to commit EUR5 million to the fund, announced at the UN’s High-Level Political Forum in July last year.

The fund will invest in high-growth potential start-ups to scale up across the continent, and is part of the Smart Africa Alliance, a pan-African initiative to accelerate sustainable socioeconomic development by investing in underserved African communities. 

The organisation helps funds with fundraising efforts, by providing access to technology ecosystems, and in helping to source deal flow.

“We have a critical funding gap across Africa,” said Lacina Koné, director general at Smart Africa. “The BLOC Smart Africa Fund will go a long way in bridging the financing gap between seed and growth stage for hundreds of businesses and in particular start-ups in Africa, emerging and frontier markets, and is the first-of-its-kind dedicated to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The investments from the Governments of Luxembourg and Côte d’Ivoire will sponsor the first loss tranche of BLOC Smart Africa, which protects senior tranches of funding designed for institutional investors and provides them with a market-based risk-adjusted return that fulfils their fiduciary requirements.

According to Jean-Philippe De Schrevel, founder and managing partner at Bamboo Capital Partners, the partnership with the governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Luxembourg will play a crucial role in de-risking the senior tranches of the fund and thereby attracting institutional investors, as well as moving Africa one step closer to becoming a single digital market.

“Technology plays a crucial and unparalleled role in scaling impact exponentially on the ground in Africa. This is something we have witnessed first-hand with the growth of mobile banking on the continent in the last decade,” said De Schrevel.

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