British International Investment

Novastar Ventures East Africa Fund I LP

EthiopiaKenyaNigeriaUgandaAfricaCommunications & IT servicesConsumer - EducationConsumer - HealthConsumer - other servicesFinancial servicesFood & AgricultureInfrastructureManufacturing

Novastar Ventures East Africa Fund I is a venture fund that invests in innovative, early-stage businesses that widen market access and provide economic opportunities for low-income, mass market populations in East Africa.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

In 2014, CDC made a $15 million commitment to the Novastar Ventures East Africa Fund, alongside the EIB, the Dutch Good Growth Fund and other European DFIs including Norway’s Norfund, the Netherlands’ FMO, and France’s Proparco. 

Other investors include AXA, JPMorgan Chase, and Hivos-Triodos Fund. It was the first investment made by the Impact Fund.

Expected impact

Expected impact of investments made between 2012 and 2018. From 2019 onwards, we have published a fuller set of impact information, assessing each investment against six dimensions of impact.

The fund provides capital and support to early stage innovative businesses to help them scale successfully. Novastar invests in businesses that improve access to affordable goods and services such as healthcare, energy, education and sanitation to low income populations. 

The fund’s investments include companies such as Sanergy, a Kenyan franchise which provides small-scale, high-quality sanitation facilities in Nairobi's urban slums. 

It has also invested in Komaza, a forestry company, which works with over 9,000 subsistence farmers in Eastern Kenya to address the large and fast-growing demand for wood products.

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 are working closely with the fund manager to improve its existing ESMS, including delivering an action plan.

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

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D264
    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.

    :
    Communications & IT services, Consumer - Education, Consumer - Health, Consumer - other services, Financial services, 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 :
    March 2014
    Amount :
    $14.65m
    Currency of investment :
    USD
    Fund Manager:
    Novastar Ventures Limited
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    Mauritius

Related investments made by BII into this fund:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 02 $350k Africa Communications & IT services, Consumer - Education, Consumer - Health, Consumer - other services, Financial services, Food & Agriculture, Infrastructure, Manufacturing March 2015 Active

Investments made by this fund into companies:

For further information about these companies, visit https://www.novastarventures.com/

Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Fortem Holdings Limited (iProcure) Kenya East Africa Food & Agriculture June 2017 Active
Greenlight Planet Kenya Ltd Kenya East Africa Infrastructure March 2023 Exited
GreenPath Ethiopia East Africa Food & Agriculture April 2018 Exited
HiviSasa (Mobile Web Limited) Kenya East Africa Consumer - other services June 2015 Active
Komaza FPC Kenya East Africa Food & Agriculture March 2015 Active
Lynk Jobs Limited Kenya East Africa Consumer - other services May 2017 Active
Mfarm Ltd Kenya East Africa Food & Agriculture June 2014 Active
Moko Home & Living Company Kenya East Africa Manufacturing September 2018 Active
Newglobe Schools Inc Nigeria West Africa Consumer - Education March 2014 Active
PayGo Energy Kenya East Africa Consumer - other services April 2017 Exited
Penda Health Ltd Kenya East Africa Consumer - Health August 2016 Active
Poa International Ltd Kenya East Africa Communications & IT services June 2016 Active
Sanergy Inc. Kenya East Africa Food & Agriculture June 2014 Active
Soko Inc. Kenya East Africa Consumer - other services April 2015 Exited
SolarNow Uganda East Africa Financial services October 2014 Exited
The Paradigm Project L3C Kenya East Africa Manufacturing June 2014 Active

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