Many private investors are focused on tech-related firms , startups and agencies, because the future is bright for Tech. Convergence Partners is one of those firms. Recently, it closed its third fund – The Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF) at US$120 million, with the projection of a final size of US$250 million. Presently, with the current US$400 million capital held under management by the Convergence Partners, they have become he largest private equity investor dedicated to digital infrastructure in Africa.
The CPDIF is not a stand-alone project; other prominent institutions who share CPDIF’S mission, invest in it, as they are interested in the growth of Africa. The likes of the CDC GROUP (the UK’s development finance institution), the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the European Investment Bank (EIB) , the International Finance Corporation, and the Proparco ( private sector arm of the Agence Francaise de Development – AFD Group).
Brandon Doyle – CEO OF Convergence Partners, expresses how he feels about this feat: “We are delighted to have achieved this milestone particularly given the headwinds in African PE fundraising generally, and the impact of the Covid pandemic on business activity, over the past 12 months. We are very pleased with the level of support from both repeat and new investors and believe this reflects our solid track record and the opportunity CPDIF presents at this crucial time in both Tech and African context”.
CPDIF’s investments will be centred around infrastructure needs of growing themes in Technology – wireless systems, data centres, towers, 5G, IoT and the Cloud, among others. The fund has an objective of creating impact by boosting sole proprietorship businesses, skills development, job creation and innovation. Additionally, it also looks at improving internet access to enhance the effective use of all the tools it has to offer since Africa still faces the problem of low broadband connection and digital technology access.
It is agonizing to see that despite the various digital infrastructure provisions made by government and non-governmental bodies, broadband penetration is at a low bar of just 7% of the Sub-Saharan African population. To address this issue and make digital inclusion come up to an acceptable figure, the World Bank has estimated that US$100 billion is needed as capital to increase levels of digital access by 2030.