Birimian Holdings launches investment fund to invest in African brands for expansion regionally & internationally

Birimian Holdings has started an investment fund that is based in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) which aims to support African fashion brands in the continent to accelerate the growth of these businesses regionally and internationally. The fund will provide long-term financing of between US$30,000 and US$3-million (maximum) based on the different growth stages of each African brand. Birimian was established in 2021 by private equity industry veteran, Laureen Kouassi-Olsson.

Birimian aims to accelerate the emergence of African inspired designers on the international scene by positioning itself as their key strategic partner in 4 segments which are fashion & apparel, accessories, beauty & cosmetics and gourmet. Birimian is of the view that despite increasing international visibility of African heritage luxury and premium brands, upside potential is hampered by a scarce access to finance, limited production capacities and their exclusion from the international value chain. Birimian has partners such as the Institut Français de la Mode, Who’s Next, Premiere Classe and Asafo & Co among others.

US based Bevy acquires Egyptian based Eventtus

Bevy, a US events company, has acquired Egyptian based events company known as Eventtus. The startup is an all-in-one platform that facilitates events management, event apps and events online ticketing. Eventtus was established in 2012 by Mai Medhat and Nihal Fares and has since improved the ability of event attendees to network on various social platforms. The amount invested or the stake acquired was not disclosed.

Bevy is a US events company purpose built to help companies build, grow and scale their global communities. Early customers included Asana, Atlassian, Docker, Duolingo, Evernote and Salesforce. In 2019, Bevy acquired CMX, the largest organization for community professionals. With a shared vision to help community professionals thrive, Bevy is committed to helping brands build, grow and scale their global communities since its establishment in 2017.

AVCA partners with APO Group

African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA), the pan-African industry body which promotes and enables private investment in Africa, has collaborated with APO Group to drive trade and investment across Africa. AVCA has empowered and connected fund managers, institutional investors, policymakers and entrepreneurs through pioneering research, advocacy, and international networking events.

APO Group is a media relations consultancy firm that is established to manage brand presence internationally. The organisation has a strong track record in helping world leading corporations, brands, governments & NGO’s to cement their position in target markets. APO has reach of over 350,000 contacts, bloggers and social networks and provides mobile reach to over 250,000,000 users throughout Africa.

APO arranges over 250 media interviews for government leaders and company executives annually, over 300 major corporates use APO to increase their media visibility (such as General Electric, Societe General, Microsoft, DHL, PwC, EY, Total, L’Oreal, Orange, Ericsson, Marriot) and over 350 journalists are part of APO’s global network. APO distributes content to over 300 African websites which includes CNBC Africa, Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones Factiva, Lexis Nexis and AfricanNews, a subsidiary of EuroNews.

GetEquity raises equity funding from GreenHouse Capital

GetEquity, a Nigerian based venture capital funding platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors with options with respect to funding mechanisms, has raised equity funding from GreenHouse Capital. Get Equity is a private marketplace for investors and companies to trade digital securities and assets privately and securely. The company was established by Jude Dike and William Okafor.

GreenHouse Capital is an African fintech investment fund and platform focused on supporting early-stage companies and world-class emerging market entrepreneurs. GreenHouse Capital has deep operator experience and understands business-to-business tech and can provide solutions to its portfolio companies. The fund has invested in BoxCommerce, CredPal, Growth Capital, Helium Health, Indicina, Migo, Now, Popote, PrepClass, Rensource, Riby, Schoolable, Settlement, Superfluid, Flutterwave, AMPZ, AppZone and BFree among many others.

AgDevCo provides Mezzanine debt funding to Victory Farms (Kenya)

AgDevCo has provided Mezzanine (“Mezz”) debt funding to Victory Farms, a fish farming company based in Kenya that is the largest producer of fish in East Africa with a production capability of 30 metric tons of fish per day. The company employs 350 full-time employees of which 65% are youth. The funding raised will be deployed towards the expansion of capacity in order to increase the number of its operating countries in East Africa. The Mezz debt sizing was not disclosed.

AgDevCo is an impact investor specializing in agribusiness investments in Sub-Sahara Africa. AgDevCo’s portfolio consists of over 50 investments in production, processing and distribution. AgDevCo is headquartered in London with representative offices in Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana and Sierra Leone. Across Sub-Sahara Africa, AgDevCo has invested over $170-million linking over 480,000 smallholder farmers to profitable markets and creating over 11,000 jobs.

Vantage Capital reaches financial close on its US$207-million Africa Mezz Fund

Vantage Capital has reached financial close on the raise of a US$207-million Mezzanine (“Mezz”) Fund with participation from the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets, IFC, CDC Group, European and USA based investors. Vantage Capital aims to provide tailored financing solutions to companies via its mezzanine instrument, a product combining characteristics of both debt and equity. The Fund will have potential exposure to healthcare, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Vantage Capital is well-positioned as Africa’s leading Mezz financier, capitalising on its strong position in the South African mezzanine market and building a portfolio of income generating mezzanine assets in South Africa and in the rest of Africa. Vantage Capital raised US$150-million in Mezz Fund 1, US$240-million in Mezz Fund 2 and US$280-million in Mezz Fund 3. Outside of South Africa, Vantage has invested in more than 12 transactions across Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia and Botswana. The new Fund will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 9 – industry, innovation, and infrastructure) by addressing financing gaps for companies, will contribute to corporate governance structures and processes of its investees (SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals) and will create and support decent work opportunities (SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth).

EXEO Capital sells 63% stake in Cape Olive Holdings (South Africa)

EXEO Capital has sold its 63% stake in Cape Olive Holdings. EXEO Capital is in the process of exiting investments in its food and agribusiness fund known as the Agri-Vie Fund I and one of the investments was in Cape Olive Holdings. Cape Olive Holdings is one of the largest olive suppliers in South Africa and the fund invested in this company in 2013. The internal rate of return on the investment was in line with fund’s expectations. The exit amount was not disclosed.

EXEO Capital is an alternative investment partner in Africa that structures, raises, deploys and manages private equity funds in various sectors across Sub-Saharan Africa with a portfolio of companies such as TerraSan Group, Marginpar, Capital Fisheries and Fairfield Dairy. The Agri-Vie Fund I was focused on mid-market growth investments in the food & agribusiness sector of Sub-Saharan Africa. EXEO Capital is majority-owned and managed by its founding executive shareholders and has blue-chip investors such as Stanlib (pan-African asset manager with a presence in ten Sub-Sahara African countries).

East Africa Venture Capital Association partners with Rwanda Finance

The East Africa Venture Capital Association has partnered with Rwanda Finance to enable venture capital and private equity investment to take place through the Kigali International Financial Centre. The East Africa Venture Capital Association was established in 2013 and represents over 90 members which includes private equity firms, venture capital funds, advisory firms, asset managers and family offices with an interest in investing in East Africa.

The Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC) is a financial platform that supports foreign direct investment into Africa as well as provide the right financial sector skills to conclude transactions on the African continent for international clients. The KIFC is supported by the Rwandan government which has an interest in transforming Rwanda into a financial hub and a gateway into Africa and this initiative adds more space to successes such as in Mauritius.

Ed Partners Africa raises US$1.9-million to grow finance to private education (Kenya)

Ed Partners Africa has raised 205-milion Kenyan shillings (US$1.9-million) to expand its financing capabilities to private schools in Kenya. Ed Partners Africa is a non-banking financial institution that transforms the education sector through working with school owners of affordable schools by providing financial solutions such as bridge loans and flexi-loans.

Ed Partners Africa raised its funding from Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), Acumen and Zephyr with participation from existing investors. The investment by the I&P was through the I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs Fund 2 which aims to invest in equity and quasi-equity as a minority shareholder in 30 to 40 startups and businesses located in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean. I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs intends to create an investment hub in East Africa by opening a new office in Nairobi. The fund targets a large range of sectors that significantly contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within agri-business, health, construction industry, renewable energy, microfinance, industry, B2B products and services.

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator acquires Giraffe (South Africa)

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator has acquired Giraffe, a South African mobile employment platform. The Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator intends to grow opportunities for youth employment in South Africa through the seamless linkage of job seekers and employers. The acquisition amount or the stake acquired was not disclosed.

Giraffe is a fully-automated mobile recruitment agency service that enables businesses to recruit medium-skilled workers faster and cheaper than any other recruitment agency or employment service. Businesses struggle to recruit the right workers and rely on word-of-mouth or expensive recruitment agencies to find candidates. The founder, Shafin Anwarsha together with his business partners started this online recruitment business in 2015. Giraffe is backed by Silicon Valley venture capital fund Omidyar Network which led a round of seed investment in March 2016.