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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Startup: France's new African Fund explained

Weeks after French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a $76 million African startup fund at VivaTech 2018, TechCrunch paid a visit to the French Development Agency (AFD) — who will administer the new fund — to get more details on how le nouveau fonds will work. The $76 million (or €65 million) will divvy up into three parts, according to AFD Digital Task Team Leader Christine Ha. “There are €10 million [$11.7 million] for technical assistance to support the African ecosystem… €5 million will be available as interest-free loans to high-potential, pre-seed startups…and…€50 million [$58 million] will be for equity-based investments in series A to C startups,” explained Ha during a meeting in Paris. The technical assistance will distribute in the form of grants to accelerators, hubs, incubators and coding programs. The pre-seed startup loans will issue in amounts up to $100,000 “as early, early funding to allow entrepreneurs to prototype, launch and experiment,” said Ha. The $58 million in VC startup funding will be administered through Proparco, a development finance institution — or DFI — partially owned by the AFD. The money will come “from Proparco’s balance sheet”…and a portion “will be invested in VC funds active on the continent,” said Ha. Proparco already invests in Africa-focused funds such as TLcom Capital and Partech Ventures. “Proparco will take equity stakes, and will be a limited partner when investing in VC funds,” said Ha. Startups from all African countries can apply for a piece of the $58 million by contacting any of Proparco’s Africa offices (including in Casablanca, Abidjan, Douala, Lagos, Nairobi and Johannesburg).

Source: TechCrunch