The €54 million I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs (IPAE) fund, managed by Investisseurs & Partenaires, has recently invested, as minority stakeholders, in two companies based in West Africa. Both of them demonstrate the great innovation capacity of African SMEs, as they play a pioneering role in their respective domains of activity.
ENVAL LABORATOIRE, located in Ivory Coast, is one of the most important laboratories of physico- chemical and microbiological analyses in West Africa.
Founded in 2012, ENVAL aims to extend its services to other types of analyses, such as noise-measuring and air quality analyses, as well as to launch the first accredited mining laboratory in Ivory Coast. The mining sector is particularly strategic as Ivory Coast’s mining potential is highly significant and yet under-exploited. The funding round, led by IPAE, included a local commercial bank.
PEG Africa is a young company which aims to bring off-grid solar energy access to rural and peri- urban communities in Ghana by providing solar home systems to remote households.
The renewable energies sector has witnessed explosive growth on the African continent. PEG offers an innovative model, first successfully deployed by M-KOPA to over 200,000 households in East Africa. The company has secured a licensing partnership with M-KOPA and combines technical, distribution and financing innovations to improve access to clean energy for remote households. The client is paying the solar system as he uses it for a few euros per month and owns the product after one year of payment.
PEG raised $3.20 million to expand its activities. The funding round, led by IPAE, included the French investment fund ENGIE Rassem bleurs d’Energies , the German development finance institution DEG, the Impact Assets Emerging Market Climate Fund, and US debt provider SunFunder.
IPAE maintains an active investment pace and foresees 5 to 8 new investments in the region by 2017.
IPAE currently supports more than twenty companies across the continent. These SMEs span more than ten countries and operate in various sectors of activity (micro-finance, construction, agribusiness, health, etc.). The fund, specifically dedicated to African SMEs with financing needs between 300,000 and 1,5 million euros, aims to close 5 to 8 additional investments in West Africa in the next two years, through its four local offices based in Abidjan, Accra, Dakar and Ouagadougou.