IFC Invests in New Private Equity Fund Targeting Financial Inclusion Startups in Africa and Asiaby Fintechnews Africa 5 December 2023
IFC announced an investment in a new fund by Apis Partners LLP, a private equity firm, to help innovative mid-cap financial service providers expand and boost financial inclusion among individuals and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises across Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.
IFC is making a $75 million equity investment in Apis Growth Markets Fund III, which will focus on fast-growing companies that are using technological innovations to expand access to financial services. These innovations include embedded finance, which allows non-financial companies like retailers to offer financial products and services, commerce enablement, which supports areas such as online payments, and environmental, social and governance monitoring. IFC has also allocated an additional $25 million for selectively investing alongside the fund in Apis portfolio companies.
Many countries in Africa, Southeast Asia and South Asia, present significant opportunities for technological disruptions in financial markets in areas such as payments, consumer and enterprise finance. Apis’ new fund will invest in countries such as Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.
“The project will support sustainable economic growth led by the private sector, help create jobs, and boost financial inclusion across Africa and Asia,”
said Mohamed Gouled, Vice President of Industries at IFC.
“It will also increase the competitiveness of fintech companies and MSMEs in these markets and allow them to provide more innovative financial solutions to individuals and businesses.”
In addition to providing capital, IFC will help Apis improve gender diversity both in their investment team and the companies the fund will invest in.
This is IFC’s second investment in an Apis fund, following a $25 million investment in Apis Growth Markets Fund II in 2019. In addition, IFC has invested $15 million in two South African companies backed by Apis — Adumo and Peach Payments.
Featured image credit: edited from freepik