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A Platform to Strengthen Venture Capital Ecosystems in Africa

The IFC’s new US$225m platform aims to strengthen the regions’ nascent venture capital markets, which have demonstrated early growth potential but face challenging global economic conditions. IFC will make equity or equity-like investments in tech startups and help them grow into scalable ventures that can attract mainstream equity and debt financing. IFC will also use the platform to collaborate with other teams in the World Bank Group to create and bolster venture capital ecosystems through regulatory reforms, sector analyses, and other tools.  The platform will build on IFC’s investments and efforts to build tech ecosystems in Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, and Pakistan through initiatives such as the IFC Startup Catalyst Programme. IFC has invested in companies like Twiga Foods, a Kenyan-based technology food distribution and ecommerce platform; TradeDepot, an ecommerce startup connecting international brands with African retailers; and Toters, a leading on-demand delivery platform in Lebanon and Iraq. The platform will be backed by an additional US$50m from the Blended Finance Facility of the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window, which helps de-risk investments in low-income countries. In addition, IFC will mobilise capital from other development institutions and the private sector to support entrepreneurs and tech companies in those countries.

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Alastair Tempest

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