Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) an impact investment group dedicated to small and medium-sized African companies, has carried out the intermediate closing of its fund dubbed I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 (IPAE 2). The move managed to raise a total of €75 million. IPAE 2 aims to support more than 30 companies in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2022.
I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 was launched in December 2017 with a first closing at €50 million. The second closing amounts to €25 million and allows several renowned investors to join the fund. These investors include the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), the Stichting fondsbeheer DGGF lokaal MKB, Bpifrance, Crédit Coopératif, FPS Mirova Solidaire and the IDA 18 IFC-MIGA Private Sector Window, which was created by the World Bank Group to mobilize private sector investment in IDA-only countries, with a focus on fragile and conflict-affected states.
The IPAE 2 fund brings together a diversified panel of stakeholders, including public investors such as the International Monetary Fund (IFC), organisations such as PROPARCO, European Investment Bank, BIO, DGGF, and Bpifrance, as well as private and corporate investors such as AXA Impact Fund, SocGen – a French multinational investment bank, and several family offices and foundations.
IPAE 2 is on track to reach its target size of €80 million to €90 million and will complete a third and final closing by the end of the first half of 2019. It is currently one of the largest funds in the impact investing sector dedicated to African SMEs. While SMEs are increasingly identified as key actors for inclusive growth on the continent, they still face many obstacles, including notably access to finance and skills.
I&P has also raised a technical assistance budget of more than €2.9 million from several of its public investors, which will complement the team’s support through expert missions in the company’s fields of activity or in the social, environmental and governance areas.
The fund has already invested in four African SMEs, operating in a wide range of sectors, including: Afribon, specialized in the development, production and marketing of food flavors, the African Management Initiative (AMI), offering professional training to African entrepreneurs and managers, CoinAfrique, the leader in mobile classifieds in French-speaking Africa, and PROCRÉA, an Ivorian clinic specialized in the field of reproductive health.