The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has launched a $225 million venture capital subsidiary to invest in early-stage startups across Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Pakistan.
The global financial institution under the World Bank said that it has already secured an additional $50 million backing from the Blended Finance Facility of the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window.
“Support for entrepreneurship and digital transformation is essential to economic growth, job creation, and resilience,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s managing director, in a statement.
The regions where IFC aims to direct the funding to are among the least funded globally and the situation has been made worse by the continued economic slowdown. IFC already has another investment arm, the Startup Catalyst Program, that has interests in the same regions.
“IFC’s Venture Capital Platform will help tech companies and entrepreneurs to expand during a time of capital shortage, creating scalable investment opportunities and backing countries’ efforts to build transformative tech ecosystem.” Said Mahktar, “We want to help develop homegrown innovative solutions that are not only relevant to emerging countries but can also be exported to the rest of the world,” he said.
The organization has so far invested in firms that include Kenya’s Twiga Foods, TradeDepot, a B2B e-commerce startup connecting brands with retailers as well as Toters.