Development Partners International (DPI), an investment firm focused on Africa, announced on October 4 that it closed its African Development Partners III Fund (ADP III) at $900m, with an additional $250m of co-invested capital.

This establishes ADP III as one of the largest funds dedicated to investing private capital in Africa, having exceeded its initial $800m target. 

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Runa Alam, chief executive of DPI, said in a statement that “Africa remains an exciting investment destination with positive demographics, rising adoption of technology, and rising consumer and  business spending”.

“As we look towards the future with our ADP III fund, we will focus on innovation-driven companies leading the digital transformation of the economies in which they operate,” she added. 

As well as digital innovation, Ms Alam said that environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria were also a key part of the investment firm’s strategy. “Our deep integration of impact and ESG initiatives in the investment life cycle has been widely recognised and ensures we are known as a trusted partner,” she said.

The estimated total value of private equity fundraising on the continent for the first half of 2021 stands at $1.3bn, according to the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

DPI says that it has “a significant pipeline of investment opportunities” in financial services, healthcare, agri-business, education, and telecom infrastructure.

ADP III has made four investments to date, including Channel VAS, a fintech business providing mobile financial services based in the UAE; SICAM, a Tunisian tomato producer; Kelix Bio, a pan-African biopharmaceutical platform; and MNT-Halan, an Egyptian fintech. 

Its investors include pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, development finance institutions, insurance companies and asset managers. A third of the investments for the latest fund came from North American investors, such as Chicago Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund and City of Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement. 

CDC Group, a development finance institution owned by the UK government, committed $100m to ADP III. John Owers, head of mid-sized and large funds at CDC Group, said that the group is confident that “DPI’s third fund presents an opportunity to make investments that help to maximise both commercial and impact outcomes across the continent”. 

“We are thrilled that our patient and long-term capital will facilitate increased access to goods and services, and create lasting jobs that will continue to energise Africa’s growth,” Mr Owers continued. 

DPI’s previous two Africa-focused funds, ADP I and ADPI II, closed at $400m in 2013 and $725m in 2015 respectively.