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Proparco has signed in Sharm el Sheik a $5.8 million investment in the 1st closing of the Sawari Ventures North Africa Fund I. This fund will invest in nearly 25 fast-growing start-ups in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

On the sidelines of the Africa 2018 Business Forum held in Egypt, Sawari Ventures announced on December 9 the US$35 million first closing of the Sawari Ventures North Africa Fund I. The $70 million fund will invest an average ticket size of US$ 1.5 million and will be looking to invest in 25 growth stage companies leading the knowledge economy in a number of sectors including ICT, Deep Technology, FinTech, Education Technologies, HealthTech, and Renewable and Green Energy.

Besides Proparco, some of the first closing investors include the European Investment Bank (EIB), the UK’s CDC and and the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF).

Johann Choux, Head of the Innovation Division at Proparco, commented: “Proparco is committed to supporting the nascent African VC industry, to bridge the financing gap for talented start-up entrepreneurs. This investment in the Sawari Ventures North Africa Fund I fully fits our mandate to support innovation, skilled job creation and access to essential services in the region.

We are creating the first of a kind VC vehicle to combine top tier international and local institutional investors to cement VC as an asset class in Egypt; we are initiating a sustainable Egyptian VC industry to ensure availability of funding for future entrepreneurs” said Wael Amin, partner at Sawari Ventures.

Investment appetite in Africa is growing aggressively, with an abundance of high-growth opportunities waiting for the right funding, and the right partners” said Amin. “At Sawari Ventures, we have been building knowledge economy companies in this part of the world for years, and our role today will be to channel the available capital to the right entrepreneurs.

This new investment by Proparco is part of its commitment to increasingly support innovation and the development of start-ups in Africa. Earlier in 2018, Proparco had invested $5 million in the TLCOM Tide Africa fund in East Africa and $3 million in the South African fintech Jumo.