Last month President Macron declared France would be backing a new $76 million (€65 million) digital project that will offer funding for African startups.
But by not providing modalities regarding how the funding will be handled, he had left the juicy part of the announcement room for speculation.
Thankfully, a recent visit by TechCrunch to the French Development Agency (AFD) has clarified areas France’s new fund will meet.
The news reporting site, on their visit, met with Christine Ha, AFD Digital Task Team Leader who then explained that the fund will be split in three parts.
According to Ha, €50M ($58M) will go into equity-based investments in series A to C startups. €10M ($11.7M) will go into providing technical assistance to support the African ecosystem. The remaining €5M will be made available as interest free loans to high potential, pre-seed startups.
Technical assistance will come in the form of grants to accelerators, hubs, incubators, and coding programmes in the continent.
Interest free loans to pre-seed entrepreneurs will be up to $100,000 to allow for experimentation, prototyping, as well as launch. Ha further noted that the $11.7M technical assistance and $5.8M loan portions of France’s new fund will be available starting 2019, subject to a review of the options currently available.
The $58 million in VC startup funding will be administered through Proparco, a development finance institution that already has made investment in Africa focused funds such as TLcom Capital and Partech Ventures.
As their prerogative, AFD and Proparco will be targeting young and innovative companies able to solve problems as well create jobs in sectors like finance, energy, health and education.