PE Fund For African and Asian Fintech Startups Raises $150m

Apis Partners LLP, a private equity asset manager focused on financial services in the growth markets of Africa and South Asia, today announced the first close of its inaugural Apis Growth Fund I (the “Fund”), very significantly above target with commitments of over US$ 157 million.

Apis Growth Fund I focuses on Africa and South Asia, where financial services are showing strong growth and innovation. Investors include global institutional investors and leading developmental finance institutions.

The Fund has attracted several institutional investors and financial institutions from Europe, North America and Africa. These include Intesa Sanpaolo and Old Mutual, as well as leading developmental finance Institutions (DFIs) such as CDC (UK), the European Investment Bank, FMO (Netherlands) and Swedfund (Sweden).

Investors have been attracted by Apis’ offering of a unique investment thesis, its impact mandate, its attractive investment pipeline and a highly experienced team.

Among these investors, Apis counts a number of global financial services institutions, who recognise the role that Apis and the Fund can play in facilitating direct access to innovation in Financial Services originating from Africa and South Asia, and specifically in relation to novel business models and ‘last-mile’ distribution.

The Fund will invest in the fast expanding financial services sector, which is well placed to benefit from favourable demographic and macro-economic fundamentals as well as structural supply/demand gaps in the growth markets of Africa and South Asia. The Fund’s investment pipeline includes market leaders with innovative, yet proven business models spanning the financial services spectrum (payments, savings and investments, credit, insurance and capital markets).

The Fund targets positions in partnership with management teams and entrepreneurs, and will provide active board participation as well as operational support.

“Our inaugural fund has attracted significant interest from a wide range of investors including global institutional investors and DFIs, endorsing our distinct, innovation-led investment strategy”, said Apis Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Matteo Stefanel. “We strongly believe that the next wave of business-model innovation in financial services will come from growth markets. As incomes in these markets continue to rise, so will the demand for formal financial services, representing a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs creating innovative and cost-effective solutions. We aim to back those entrepreneurs”.

“Our focus on advancing inclusion in the formal financial sector in growth markets is both good business and the right thing to do”, said Apis Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Udayan Goyal. “Of the 2.5 billion unbanked adults globally (over half of the world’s adults), 2.2 billion reside in growth markets. Financial inclusion has a direct, measurable impact on GDP growth as well as offering an enormous, untapped market, expanding further thanks to the confluence of demographic and macroeconomic growth factors. We are firmly convinced that Financial Services will deliver in the next decade the same level of return on investment as the telecom boom of Africa and South Asia of the last two decades: we aim to bring that opportunity to our investors.”




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