FEBRUARY 07, 2023
3 min Read
Investors update: February 7 2023
Vantage reaches final close of 4th mezzanine fund at $377m
- Vantage Capital, one of Africa’s largest mezzanine fund managers, has announced the final close on its fourth mezzanine fund.
- A total of $377 million of commitments has been secured from a mix of European and US-based commercial investors, as well as a host of development finance institutions (DFIs) that include IFC, BII, SIFEM, DEG, Norfund, Swedfund, Finnfund, and EIB.
- As with its predecessor funds, Vantage plans to continue providing mid-sized African businesses with flexible capital to drive business expansion and support job creation.
Along with other kinds of investments such as FDI, FPI, venture capital, and impact investing, mezzanine financing—a hybrid of debt and equity financing that gives the lender the right to convert the debt to an equity interest in the company in case of default—is a growing phenomenon in Africa, led by firms like Vantage. The increasingly diversified capital pool available on the continent plays an important role in supporting the growth of mid-size businesses that would otherwise struggle to access capital from banks.
Egypt’s Gameball secures $3.5m to scale its CRM platform
- Egypt-based marketing CRM platform Gameball has closed a $3.5 million seed round led by 500 Global and a mix of Africa-focused, Middle Eastern funds and regional angel investors.
- Founded in 2020, Gameball is a customer intelligence and marketing CRM platform that helps consumer brands create personalized engagement with customers and monetize their customer base.
- Gameball plans to use the funds to accelerate product commercialization, accelerate enterprise customer acquisition, and strategic hiring.
The customer relationship management (CRM) market has grown in the last few years and is expected to see a 12.5% compound annual growth rate, reaching $145.79 billion value in the next six years. This growth is largely attributable to the uptick of online merchants using CRM tools to boost sales, increase profits, and beat mounting competition from other providers. In Africa, Gameball is one player that offers consumer brands this service and claims to have served over 7,000 businesses reaching 20 million customers since its launch.
Morocco-based Chari raises $1m from Orange Ventures
- Chari, a Morocco-based B2B e-commerce startup also with embedded financing services for the FMCG sector, has raised $1 million from Orange Ventures.
- As per the transaction, Grégoire de Padirac, partner of Orange Ventures Middle East and Africa, is set to join Chari’s supervisory board.
- Founded in 2020 by Ismael Belkhayat and Sophia Alj, Chari lets retailers purchase large quantities of inventory items directly from suppliers and the platform has onboarded over 20,000 food businesses in Morocco.
African markets, though diverse, have some common themes, one of which is the largely fragmented FMCG space. Often, both local and multinational manufacturers do not have visibility and control over their own distribution channels while distributors have to deal with discrepancies in prices and inefficient logistics. Chari, like many startups in the B2B e-commerce space in Africa such as Nigeria’s TradeDepot and Egypt’s Capiter, has built digital products to address these bottlenecks in the crucial sector.