PE investor, Convergence Partners’ raises $120m fund to drive digital inclusion in Africa
Convergence Partners, a private equity investor focused on the technology sector across sub-Saharan Africa has announced a raise of its third fund, the Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF) at US$120 million. The fund is targeting a final size of US$250 million.
With more than US$400m of capital under management, Convergence Partners remains the largest private equity investor dedicated to digital infrastructure in Africa.
Investors in CPDIF are leading institutions that continue to support African growth such as the CDC Group (the UK’s development finance institution), the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Proparco (the private sector arm of the Agence Française de Développement – AFD Group).
CPDIF investments will be driven by the infrastructure needs of the emerging growth themes in the digital infrastructure ecosystem, specifically fibre, wireless, data centres, towers etc., as well as 5G, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), fintech and network virtualisation.
CPDIF’s first investment is in Ctrack, a transaction that was announced earlier in the year. As a data analytics business servicing the fleet management and insurance industries, the business sits at the intersection of AI and IoT with all its solutions being cloud-delivered.
The fund also has a strong and measurable impact objective and, via its participation in the build-out of Africa’s digital infrastructure, will boost entrepreneurship, innovation, skills development and job creation through massively boosting access to the internet and all the critical digital tools it offers.
Africa remains by far the most underserved region in terms of broadband and digital technology access.
Despite the advances in the rollout of digital infrastructure on the Continent, fixed broadband penetration in sub-Saharan Africa still lags far behind at about 7% of the population. There is a massive investment opportunity that still exists to address digital inclusion with the World Bank estimating that more than US$100 billion of capital is required to bring sub-Saharan Africa to acceptable levels of digital access by 2030.
Speaking on the raise, Brandon Doyle, CEO of Convergence Partners says:
“We are delighted to have achieved this milestone particularly given the headwinds in African PE fundraising generally, and the impact of the Covid pandemic on business activity, over the past 12 months. We are very pleased with the level of support from both repeat and new investors and believe this reflects our solid track record and the opportunity CPDIF presents at this crucial time in both tech and African context.”
CPDIF is a continuation of the strategy that has been successfully implemented by Convergence Partners since its inception in 2006 across its funds under management.
In the past 15 years, Convergence Partners has invested in submarine cable systems, geostationary satellites, terrestrial long-haul, metro and access fibre, wireless networks, data centres, as well as service provision delivered by these networks such as enterprise connectivity, SD-WAN, fintech & health tech solutions, data switching and more.
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