• Thu. Dec 1st, 2022

KIFC launches $50,000,000 Africa Fund targeted at fintech companies

ByJoan Aimuengheuwa

Feb 4, 2022
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Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC) has announced its launch of a $50,000,000 Africa fund to be invested in just fintech startups.

Announced during the “Kigali International Financial Centre: The Home of Africa’s Fintechs” forum held recently at the Conrad Hotel in Dubai, KIFC will direct the funds to not just any fintech company, but those with proven technology, operating in Africa.

Private equity investments in Africa have doubled during the last decade with fintech receiving close to 60% of the capital. Total capital invested in African FinTech companies grew by $1.49 billion in 2021 compared to the previous year, setting Africa’s highest FinTech funding year to date at $2.02 billion.

The fund domiciled in KIFC and backed by MyGrowthFund Venture Partners will create proximity on the continent between investments and fintech investment opportunities, as well as increase African investment in African fintech, especially since less than 10% of the private equity investment in 2021, came from the continent. The fund’s objective is to grow the capital to $120,000,000.

The high-level expert-led discussions focused on the game-changing role that KIFC is playing in connecting global investors to fintech opportunities across Africa. KIFC provides a conducive environment for investment and resources needed to drive the levels of entrepreneurship and digital skills required to build an emerging fintech ecosystem.

Advancements in technology have seen the rise of African based unicorns, particularly in the financial technology space, offering payment or banking solutions. Several of these unicorns have sought out Kigali as a base to consolidate their regional operations.

70% of the investment deals go to tech-based products and/or services, so attracting fintech oriented investors and creating a thriving fintech ecosystem, which would facilitate scaling up investment across the continent, is of paramount importance to KIFC,” said Nick Barigye, CEO of Rwanda Finance Limited (RFL). UAE’s evolving fintech landscape continues to boost development and innovative solutions in the industry, providing inspiration to and partnership opportunities for Africa’s fintech community.

Several senior industry experts spoke at the forum, including Hon Paula Ingabire, minister of Information and Communications Technology and Innovation, Government of Rwanda; Barigye; Oluwatosin Ajibade (Eazi), founder of Empawa Africa and Global Superstar; Vusi Thembekwayo, CEO, MyGrowthFund Venture Partners; Angela Homsi, founder and CEO of Angaza Capital.

The forum was part of a four-day trip organised by the Government of Rwanda which aimed to build bridges between the UAE and Rwandan business communities whilst exploring untapped trade and investment potential. The themed events focused on finance, fintech, health, mining, and trade.

Barigye added: “We are very proud to note that KIFC is one of the preferred financial destinations in Africa – ranking top 5 in the African continent – and one of the top 15 new International Financial Centres (IFCs) to watch according to the Global Financial Centres index.”

“As one of the fastest-growing fintech hubs, KIFC is committed to working in close cooperation across the continent and all over the world to facilitate pan-African investment, provide the highest quality financial services to international investors, and unlock the continent’s enormous potential. UAE is a very important and key market for us and the last few days have been very productive.

Joan Aimuengheuwa

Joan thrives at helping individuals and businesses scale via storytelling...

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