British International Investment

Equator Africa Fund

KenyaNigeriaAfricaFood & AgricultureInfrastructureManufacturing

Equator Africa is a venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments in sub-Saharan Africa.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

We made an anchor investment into Equator Africa Fund, as part of the fund’s first close. Of the total commitment up to $5 million will come from our Climate Innovation Facility, with the aim to overcome barriers to investment and mobilise commercial capital. Our investment aims to solve key development challenges by supporting innovative, tech-enabled climate solutions across sub-Saharan Africa. The fund's investments are expected to span the sectors of e-mobility, energy efficiency and storage, water, climate analytics and agriculture.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact
  • Improved climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience (SDG 13.1, 13A)
  • Improved access to clean energy (SDG 7A) and increase adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies (SDG 9.4)
  • Improved ability to adapt to climate change and support more resilient agricultural value chains (SDG 2.4)

How?

Primary Secondary

By supporting early-stage companies to provide proof of concept for a range of applied climate-tech solutions, our investment aims to help de-risk the space and encourage other actors to replicate and scale up viable solutions.

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase adaptation and resilience capabilities, by investing in ventures offering climate-smart technologies/solutions.
  • Enable businesses to reduce their energy consumption and/or build their resilience to the negative impacts of climate change, by investing in ventures that offer transportation infrastructure and technology solutions.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Planet

Global

Sub-Saharan Africa is the least prepared and the most exposed region to the adverse effects of climate change.

Consumers and businesses

Sub-Saharan Africa (pipeline companies mainly expected to be in East Africa and to a lesser extent West Africa).

Mobility solutions mainly expected to benefit urban/peri-urban populations. Clean energy expected to benefit a wide range of businesses and consumers across rural and urban areas.

Farmers

Sub-Saharan Africa (pipeline mainly expected to be in East Africa and to a lesser extent West Africa).

Agricultural solutions are expected to benefit rural, low-income farmers, which rely on agriculture for their livelihoods

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

n/a

Impact is expected to be deep; reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing the ability to adapt and be more resilient to climate-related hazards in sub-Saharan Africa are crucial solutions to tackle climate change and its adverse effects.

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality
  • Financial additionality: There is a low probability that the fund would have been able to reach first close in the absence of our commitment.
  • Value additionality: Our knowledge and advice as well as improvements in processes and standards within climate, business integrity and environmental, social and governance, will strengthen the manager’s performance

Risk

Execution Risk
  • climate-tech is a nascent sector in Africa and achieving commercial returns is still largely unproven. The combination of first-mover risk and Equator being a first-time fund manager enhances the degree of execution risk.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We agreed an ESAP focused on strengthening the integration of environmental and social risk management across the investment cycle.

Environmental and social risk

Medium-High

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    First published

    When the investment was first published on the website database.

    :
    July 2023
    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    June 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D4911
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    Africa
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Food & Agriculture, Infrastructure, Manufacturing

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Fund
    Start date :
    January 2023
    Amount :
    $13.75m
    Currency of investment :
    USD
    Fund Manager:
    Equator Africa GP, LP
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    USA
    Climate finance

    Indicates whether the investment is climate finance qualified or partially climate finance qualified and the type of climate finance (adaptation, mitigation or both). We define climate finance using the multilateral development bank (MDB) and the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) Common Principles climate finance methodology. See Common Principles for Climate Mitigation Finance Tracking and Common Principles for Climate Change Adaptation Finance Tracking. We provide the climate finance qualification and type for commitments from 2020 onwards, which is when we launched our Climate Change Strategy.

    :
    Fully qualified
    Climate finance type:
    Mitigation,Adaptation

Related investments made by BII into this fund:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 02 $500k Africa Financial services, Food & Agriculture, Infrastructure, Manufacturing February 2024 Active

Investments made by this fund into companies:

For further information about these companies, visit https://equator.vc/about

Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Apollo Agriculture, Inc. Kenya East Africa Food & Agriculture June 2023 Active
IBISA S.A.R.L. Central Asia Rest of the World Financial services March 2024 Active
Odyssey Energy Solutions, I Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Global, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Zambia Caribbean, Central Africa, East Africa, Global, South America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, West Africa Infrastructure June 2023 Active
Roam Electric AB Kenya East Africa Manufacturing June 2023 Active
Savant Group Limited Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Togo, Uganda, Zambia East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Infrastructure June 2023 Active

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