African startups to benefit from US$112 million CAIF funding

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The Cathay Africinvest Innovation Team
Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund’s team members are spread across the continent

Pan-African fund Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund (CAIF) has raised $112 million to support early-to growth-stage startups in Africa.

The fund is a partnership between Tunisia-based multi-asset investment platform Afrinvest and European-born venture capital firm Cathay Innovation.

When CAIF first announced its fund in 2019, it targeted a $168 million raise for Series A to Series C investments but missed it. This time, CAIF adjusted its expectations to $102 million and exceeded its target.

The investors in this fund include Proparco, SIFEM, AfricaGrow, BIO, Europe Investment Bank, Triodos Investment Management FMO, DFIs, multinational corporations and HNIs across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Beneficiaries 

CAIF finances companies in fintech, mobility, digital content, agritech, health tech, AI and edtech sectors. The selected startups that are in the growth stage will receive investments ranging from $1–10 million. Up to $1 million will be invested in seed-stage startups,

So far, it has invested in African startups like 54gene, OZÉ, Migo, GOMYCODE, Aerobotics, and WhereIsMyTransport. It has also invested in non-African startups that operate on the continent, some of which are PalmPay, KaiOS, Boomplay, and ride-hailing startup Heetch.

Its portfolio companies have serviced almost 150 million users, and it plans to double down on that impact with the new investments it will further make.

When asked about how CAIF will be investing during this economic downturn, co-head of CAIF, Yassine Oussaifi, pointed to the continuing success of the companies in its portfolio. He said that the fund is motivated by good metrics and continued growth so they will invest confidently in innovative startups they believe in.

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