The Rise Fund has made its first investment in Africa

The Rise Fund, the impact fund run by private equity group TPG Growth, has made its first investment in Africa, leading a $47.5 million deal to buy a stake in payments provider Cellulant. The deal, which also included Endeavour Catalyst and Satya Capital, is the largest involving a fintech company that does business only in Africa, according to the Rise Fund… Cellulant was founded in 2004 with operations in Kenya and Nigeria. It now works in 11 countries with 94 banks and seven mobile money platforms that have a combined potential customer base of 130 million. It focuses on facilitating mobile payments and ecommerce. Ken Njoroge, Cellulant co-founder and chief executive, said the new capital would be used to scale up the company’s operations and expand into two more countries this year… TPG formed the Rise Fund last year, attracting some $2 billion in capital. It aims to be “committed to achieving measurable, positive social and environmental outcomes” while delivering “competitive financial returns”. Its board members include entrepreneur Richard Branson, singer Bono and Jeffrey Skoll, the first president of online auction website eBay… Cellulant’s existing shareholders include Velocity Capital Private Equity, Progression Capital Africa Limited and TBL Mirror Fund.
John Aglionby