AfricInvest and Cathay Innovation Reach Final Close Of Pan-African Fund At €110 million

Story Highlights
  • Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund (CAIF), a Pan-African fund launched via a partnership between AfricInvest, a multi-asset investment platform in Africa and Cathay Innovation, a European-born but global-focused venture capital firm, has achieved a final close of €110 million.

Just last week, Cathay Innovation announced that it was targeting to raise €1 billion for its third fund to invest in growth and later-stage companies across Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. Within the last three months, the fund launched two sister entities: a $110 million crypto fund and a $500 million health fund.

Cathay Innovation carries a different approach in Africa. Unlike other regions where the firm invests from its multistage fund and ventures on its own, for Africa, it partnered with the Tunisian-based AfricInvest in 2019 to back promising early to growth-stage startups on the continent.

Founded in 1994, AfricInvest handles multiple asset classes, from private equity to venture capital to private credit. Over the past decades, the firm has raised more than $2 billion across 21 funds. Its 200+ portfolio companies, of which 106 have exited, span 25 countries. A track record such as this is what Cathay Innovation — which has $2 billion in AUM and offices across San Francisco, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore — sought four years ago when bought firms struck the partnership and formed CAIF. 

CAIF first announced its fund in 2019. At the time, it was looking to raise $168 million for Series A to Series C investments. While the fund’s final close suggests that the fundraising plans didn’t go as planned for various reasons, Denis Barrier, co-founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation, told TechCrunch that CAIF adjusted its expectations and settled on raising €100 million. “So, in fact, we exceeded this target in terms of fundraising,” he said. 

The chief executive also highlighted how CAIF’s backing of early-stage founders allowed the firm to change its strategy and reaffirm its initial conviction of making seed to Series A deals. However, it has made some later-stage bets too. Per a statement, the firm invests up to €1 million in seed stage and between €1 million and €10 million in growth-stage businesses. 


Nichole Manhire

Is the media and brand manager at GFA News. She works very closely with editors and podcasters that contribute to telling the African business success story. For marketing and advertising send Nichole an email:

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