Apis Growth Fund I

South Africa, India Communications and IT Services, Financial services, Infrastructure

Apis Partners LLP is a London-based private equity firm that focuses on growth equity in financial services in Africa and Asia. The firm was founded in 2014.

Apis Growth Fund I supports financial inclusion in Africa and South Asia by targeting mid-market companies focusing on payments infrastructure, credit and savings, insurance, distribution and service providers.

Our investment

In 2015, CDC invested $30 million into Apis Growth I, alongside the African Development Bank (AfDB), and other European DFIs including the Netherlands' FMO, Switzerland's SIFEM and Sweden's Swedfund, as well as private investors. The fund manager raised a total of $287 million.  Our investment supports the development of technology-driven financial services in underserved areas and help attract other investors to the region.

Expected impact

Lack of access to financial services has proved a major barrier to economic growth in many emerging countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. 

However, the availability of new financial technologies, combined with increased mobile phone use, presents an opportunity to reach a greater section of lower income populations.

Our investment supports the fund manager's goal of financial inclusion by producing affordable financial services and products, and distributing them via innovative channels. 

This helps to create jobs – direct and indirect – and drive wider economic expansion in these underserved regions.

The fund manager also provides strategic, technical and operational expertise to investee companies to facilitate their growth. Its investments include pan-Africa SME lender Baobab (MicroCred); Indian ATM provider, EPS; pan-Africa payment platform Direct Pay Online; and Indian retail health insurer, Star Health and Allied Insurance.

Environmental and social aspects

We have worked closely with the fund manager to develop and implement an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) for this first-time fund.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

Rest of the World

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people. For funds, the sectors listed here are those the fund has invested in so far.

Communications and IT Services, Financial services, Infrastructure
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Intermediated investment
Fund manager:
Apis Partners
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

August 2015

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

United Kingdom

Investments made by this fund

  • Active
  • Exited
Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd

EPS offers ATM outsourcing and related services for India's rapidly growing ATM network. It provides transaction processing and card management services which are offered to banks to enable them to concentrate on core banking functions. It has over 5,000 ATMs under management across urban, semi-rural and rural locations.

View investment details

India South Asia Financial services January 2016 Active
Trans-Fast Remittance

Trans-Fast is a leading provider of cross-border remittance solutions to consumer and businesses worldwide. The company covers 88% of the world's population across over 120 countries.

View investment details

Rest of the World Financial services May 2016 Exited
Direct Pay Online

Direct Pay Online is the leading online payments processor across East and Southern Africa. During 2016 it merged with PayGate Ltd, a leading Southern Africa online payments processor and the enlarged group now has a presence across 8 countries and processing ability across a further 24 countries.

View investment details

Africa Financial services June 2016 Active
Star Health & Allied Insurance

StarHealth is the leading private retail health insurer in India. It was founded in 2006 and has a presence across all 22 Indian states, including over 300 branches.

View investment details

India South Asia Financial services August 2016 Active
Q Link South Africa Africa, Southern Africa Financial services October 2017 Active
Green Light Planet Rest of the World Infrastructure November 2017 Active
Crossfin Apis Transaction Solutions (CATS) South Africa Africa, Southern Africa Communications and IT Services June 2018 Active
GHL Systems Berhad Rest of the World Financial services June 2018 Active
Efficient Group Limited

Efficent Group Limited is an asset management and advisory firm providing a range of solutions to retail and institutional investors in South Africa.

View investment details

South Africa Africa, Southern Africa Financial services October 2019 Active

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