Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund

Africa Communications and IT Services

Johannesburg-based Convergence Partners is an investment management firm focused on the technology, telecommunications and media sectors. It primarily invests in South Africa but also in Nigeria, the rest of Africa, and the Middle East.

The Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund (CPCIF) was launched in 2012 to focus on investments in companies working on next-generation infrastructure projects to provide high-volume data services across the continent.

Our investment

In late 2013, CDC invested $20 million into CPCIF, the only infrastructure fund that is dedicated solely to the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in Africa.  Our $20 million commitment contributes a total of $145 million to the fund’s first close, supported mostly by DFIs.  The fund reached its final close at $186.5 million with participation from Sango Capital (a private sector investor) and the Public Investment Corporation of South Africa.  Our capital was used to develop communications infrastructure and related services and technologies across sub-Saharan Africa.

Expected impact

The African ICT sector has grown significantly over the past decade, coupled with higher rates of economic growth and the creation of direct and indirect jobs. Increased internet access has enabled the delivery of new products and services that would, in many cases, not otherwise be available on the continent, such as financial services, healthcare, and education. 

However, the infrastructure to deliver ICT services remains under-developed. Our investment will help tackle the current infrastructure deficit, accelerating the development of the African digital economy, which in turn stimulates wider business activity in the private sector.

Current investments include e4, a software-as-a-service platform; Fibreco, a South African fibre network operator; VentureGarden, a Nigerian financial technology payments firm; Vuma, a high-speed, fibre-to-the-home network; and CSquared, a fibre and wifi network builder.

Environmental and social aspects

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

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

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

:
Africa
Countries

For funds, the countries listed here are those the fund has invested in so far.

:
Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa
Sector

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
Website:
http://www.convergencepartners.com/
Investment type

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

:
Intermediated investment
Fund manager:
Convergence Partners Management
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

:
December 2013
Amount

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.

:
$20m
Domicile

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

:
Mauritius

Investments made by this fund

  • Active
  • Exited
Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
FibreCo Telecommunications Holdings (Pty) Ltd

FibreCo offers managed fibre to large telecommunications companies and ISPs. Its objective is to construct and manage an open access, redundant high capacity fibre optic ring, initially between Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, and will expanding to connect other large centres.

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South Africa Africa, Southern Africa Communications and IT Services April 2014 Active
Communication Solutions (Pty) Ltd (COMSOL)

Comsol specialises in the building of customised terrestrial wireless access infrastructure for companies, government entitles and parastatals across all sectors across Africa.

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South Africa Africa, Southern Africa Communications and IT Services July 2014 Active
Synergy Communications (Syncom)

SynCom was established as the holding company for all of the Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund's investments within the enterprise ISP sector across Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Africa Communications and IT Services September 2014 Active
Venture Garden Group (VGN)

Venture Garden Nigeria (VGN) is a Nigerian based technology company that automates payment systems and financial services value chains across multiple industries, through deployment of hardware, software and communications infrastructure.

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Nigeria Africa, West Africa Communications and IT Services August 2015 Active
e4 Newco

e4 is the parent company of a South African-based group that has developed a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to host a number of secure document and transaction portals, which in turn enable seamless contracting and transacting across a number of industry verticals in the financial services sector.

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South Africa Africa, Southern Africa Communications and IT Services April 2016 Active
Consolidated Capital Investment (Pty) Ltd

CCI is an investment vehicle holding minority stakes in Dark Fibre Africa and Vumatel Proprietary Limited. DFA is the largest open access metro and access fibre operator in South Africa. Vumatel is a leading Fibre-to-the-home operator, aiming to build a complete fibre infrastructure backbone in selected suburbs in major cities.

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South Africa Africa, Southern Africa Communications and IT Services October 2016 Active
C Squared InvestCo Mauritius Rest of the World Infrastructure July 2017 Active
Channel VAS Africa Communications and IT Services October 2018 Active