International Finance Corporation to invest US$6m in Kenyan tech firms

KENYA – International Finance Corporation, the financial arm of the World Bank is set to invest US$6 million (Sh 600 million) in technology companies in Kenya and other African markets.

According to Business Daily report, the investment in local startups will be made through fund manager TIDE Africa which will identify and fund the firms.

The world investment firm said majority of the investment will be concentrated in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.

The remaining amount will be allocated to other countries in Western, Eastern and Southern Africa, with a focus on consumer services, financial services, and enterprise technologies.

“IFC is considering an equity investment of up to US$6 million (Sh600 million) in TIDE Africa Fund,” said IFC.

TIDE (Technology and Innovation for Developing Economies) Africa Fund is TLcom Capital’s first international venture capital fund focused exclusively on technology enabled services and innovation for Sub Saharan Africa.

The venture capital focuses on equity investments into fast growth entrepreneurs and companies leveraging technology and innovation to serve the African as well as the global market.

IFC revealed that TIDE has invested in five high growth digital companies in Kenya and Nigeria.

Last year, Kenyan online food-market platform, Twiga Foods raised US$10.3 million financing co-led by IFC and TLcom to expand operations and offer new services to smallholder farmers.

IFC also led US$8.6 million series A investment in Kenya-based cloud-based software platform, Africa’s Talking which has also expanded into Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Nigeria.

Africa’s Talking’s virtualizes telco infrastructure across the continent and provides unified access via its API (application programming interface) to a robust and growing community of more than 20,000 software developers in Africa.

It serves over 1,000 fast-growing digital companies, enabling them to create real world applications faster and more efficiently.

IFC invested about US$200 million in Kenya the year ended June, and according to its sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) results released last year, Kenya so far holds an IFC portfolio of investment to the tune of nearly US$1 billion.

Among the companies in Kenya that the IFC has invested are Goodlife Pharmacies and several banking institutions.

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