Everything you need to know about Nigeria's $618m tech fund launched through iDICE

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May 3, 2023
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4 min read

Key takeaways:  

  • Nigeria's $618 million tech fund for young investors, announced in March 2023, will be launched under the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) programme.
  • The iDICE is currently looking for equity fund managers and creative sector specialists to oversee the implementation of creative sector programmes and the investment of the funds.
  • iDICE has also highlighted the roles and responsibilities of fund managers and creative sector specialists.

On March 14, 2023, the Nigerian government announced the launch of a $618 million tech fund for young investors. The fund is to support investors who struggle to raise money in Nigeria's tech and creative sectors.

The fund was launched by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo under the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) programme.

Of the $618 million fund, $45 million will come from the Nigerian government through Nigeria's Bank of Industry (BOI). The African Development Bank will put in $170 million; $116 million will come through the Agence Francaise de Developement; while the Islamic Development Bank will invest $70 million.

The private sector will be pulling in the biggest investment with a $217 million pledge.

According to Osinbajo, "iDICE is a government initiative to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the digital tech and creative industries, especially targeted at job creation."

The iDICE has shared with Techpoint Africa how it intends to utilise the $618m tech fund through equity fund managers and creative sector specialists.

Here's everything you need to know about Nigeria's $618 million tech fund through iDICE 

What is the iDICE programme?  

The iDICE programme is a government initiative under which the $618 million tech and creative sector fund was launched. It was created by the federal government of Nigeria to promote digital innovation in the tech and creative industries.

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Who is it for? 

The programme is for businesses that are primarily tech or tech-enabled. Equity fund managers will be contracted to invest the fund in tech or creative sector businesses that are in their early or growth stages.

The programme also targets accelerators, VCs, private equity firms, and even private universities and polytechnics.

How will the $618 million tech fund for young investors be disbursed?  

The iDICE Programme will disburse the fund through capital calls under the contracts for three equity fund managers.

This means three equity fund managers will be charged with investing part of the fund into businesses in the tech and creative sectors.

What kind of fund managers is iDICE looking for? 

iDICE is looking for three fund managers that will deploy the fund as three separate fund entities;

  • Technology sector fund
  • Creative sector fund
  • A fund of funds that will cover indirect investments in both the technology and creative sectors.

How long will the funding run? 

The fund managers will disburse the fund within four years with follow-on investments after that. The life of the funds will be 10 years, but also extendable by two years.

How can fund managers express interest in iDICE? 

Fund managers will submit a letter of interest in hard and soft copy to the iDICE Programme Coordination Unit, Bank of Industry 23, Marina Lagos, and idice-proposals@boi.ng respectively.

Firms should mention "EXPRESSION OF INTEREST: FUND MANAGER FOR THE INVESTMENT IN DIGITAL AND CREATIVE ENTERPRISES (iDICE) PROGRAM" in the EOI.

Interested firms must also state clearly, the fund —technology sector fund, creative sector fund or fund of funds— they are interested in managing.

Who is qualified to express interest as a fund manager? 

Here are some of the qualifications listed by the iDICE:

  • Must have served as a fund manager of venture capital, private equity funds, or institutions that invest in the technology and creative sector.
  • Must have evidence of investment in the tech sector or any other fast-growing sector in its portfolio.
  • A verifiable pipeline of potential investee companies across Nigeria.
  • A clear geographic understanding of the various states (in Nigeria) and the funding landscape in those states.
  • An existing relationship with relevant local and international industry players.  

Besides equity fund managers, iDICE is also looking for creative sector specialists.

Who is a creative sector specialist? 

According to the iDICE, the creative sector specialist will be responsible for implementing and monitoring activities that will lead to the creative sector achieving its objective.

Other responsibilities of the creative sector specialist also include creating impact programmes for creatives, providing relevant marketplace data on the creative economy, and developing status updates and stakeholder reports on iDICE programme activities in the creative sector.

Who can express interest in being a creative sector specialist? 

Eligible individual consultants must have a minimum of eight years of work experience in the Nigerian creative sector.

To be qualified to be a creative sector specialist, there's also a need to have experience managing, designing, and coordinating programme activities and communication across multiple delivery partners and programme donors.

How to express interest in being a creative sector specialist? 

A letter of interest is to be delivered in soft and hard copy to idice-proposals@boi.ng and the iDICE Programme Coordination Unit, Bank of Industry 23, Marina Lagos, respectively.

Individuals with an interest in fund management should mention "EXPRESSION OF INTEREST: FUND MANAGER FOR THE INVESTMENT IN DIGITAL AND CREATIVE ENTERPRISES (iDICE) PROGRAM."

 When is the deadline for submission? 

According to iDICE, the deadline for submission is Friday, May 18, 2023. Firms and individuals who need more information can get it at the iDICE address.

He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
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He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.

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