Five notable African private equity and venture capital deals in March

Wazi Vision designs and produces eyewear in Uganda.

Wazi Vision designs and produces eyewear in Uganda.

We highlight five of the most interesting African private equity and venture capital investments that came across our desk in March. From cold chain logistics to eyewear, these transactions highlight the diverse opportunities across the African continent.

This article is published in association with Africa Private Equity News, a one-stop source for industry-related information. Stay up to date by downloading the free Africa Private Equity News app here: Android | iOS 

1. Cold chain investments heat up: A.P. Moller Capital to acquire Vector Logistics

Cold-chain logistics and warehousing in Africa have gained momentum as an investment theme in recent years. In numerous sub-Saharan African countries, cold chain infrastructure remains underdeveloped or, in some cases, non-existent. Reflecting this trend, A.P. Moller Capital has agreed to acquire Vector Logistics, a South African frozen logistics operator, from RCL Foods. The company offers multi-temperature warehousing and distribution services for food products.

2. Wazi Vision lands funding to expand Africa’s eyewear options

Renew Capital has invested in Wazi Vision, a Ugandan company that has identified an opportunity in Africa’s eyewear industry. Wazi co-founder Brenda Katwesigye Baganzi explains that high-quality eyewear is often prohibitively expensive and inaccessible for most of the African population, while available alternatives fall short in quality and value. Wazi aims to offer affordable, high-quality eyewear that is designed for African faces and accessible to the mass market.

Wazi glasses are crafted by a skilled African team, taking into account various facial features to ensure a fashionable and comfortable fit. Customers can also design their own frames, choosing from materials such as acetate, cow horn, bamboo and denim.

3. BlackRock acquires stake in Kenya’s Lake Turkana wind farm

BlackRock Alternatives, a division of the US-based asset management firm BlackRock, has agreed to acquire a stake in the Lake Turkana wind farm in Kenya through its Climate Finance Partnership (CFP), a public-private finance vehicle. The 310MW Lake Turkana wind farm, connected to the national grid in 2018, now meets approximately 14% of Kenya’s electricity demand and serves 1.2 million homes. The CFP will purchase a 31.25% stake from Finnish development financier Finnfund, wind turbine maker Vestas, and the Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries.

4. PDC receives funding to widen reach of diagnostic services in Ethiopia

Private equity firm Zoscales Partners is set to make a follow-on investment in Pioneer Diagnostic Center (PDC), an Ethiopian provider of medical diagnostic services that offers a comprehensive range of imaging services to patients and physicians. By combining advanced technology with extensive clinical expertise and quality patient care, PDC has become a leading diagnostic service provider in the region. Since Zoscales’ initial investment in 2020, PDC has expanded from three to seven centres and tripled its revenue. The new investment will be used to acquire additional equipment and open new centres.

5. Payday secures $3m to expand global payment solutions for Africans

Payday, a neobank offering global accounts in USD, EUR and GBP to African customers, has raised $3 million in a seed funding round led by Moniepoint Inc. Founded in June 2021 by Favour Ori, Payday made history as the first Rwandan company to join Techstars.

The platform was established to assist African remote workers, freelancers and digital professionals by facilitating seamless, borderless payments, enabling global payment processing from over 130 countries. Payday allows individuals on the continent and in the diaspora to send and receive money in USD, GBP and EUR, and 20 other currencies, empowering Africans to work remotely for international organisations and receive payment in their preferred currency, regardless of location. Currently, the company operates in Nigeria, Rwanda and the UK.