Good news for startups in the North African country of Morocco. Azur Innovation Management, a subsidiary of Azur Partners has launched a $35 million Innovation Fund to invest in Moroccan startups. The public-private fund targets Moroccan companies with less than 18 months of activity, “having a proven innovative product / service concept with successful marketing”.
“The Covid-19 crisis, far from slowing us down, will act as an accelerator,” says Tarik Haddi, chairman of the board of Azur Innovation Fund. “All stakeholders know that the economy will have to be revived on the basis of entrepreneurship and innovation. As soon as this first round is completed, we are already approached by other investors like the EIB and the South African Sango Capital, who want to be part of this dynamic. The African Development Bank is interested in also reinvesting. We feel investor solidarity. This could lead to a second closing, even if at this stage nothing is committed.”
Here Is What You Need To Know
- The Azur Innovation Fund initially endowed with $20 million with contributions from Central Guarantee Fund (CCG), its first investor, AfDB, CIH Bank, Bank Of Africa and MASEN, was raised to $35 million as a result of the Development Fund of the Dutch Government (DFDG), the German development bank KFW and Saham Assurances joining during the first closing of the fund on March 11th, 2020.
- With a lifespan of 10 years, and an investment period of 5 years (extendable by one year), the fund targets innovative Moroccan startups.
- The Fund will focus on the renewable energy sectors, Morocco’s global businesses, service platforms and new technologies.
- The average investment tickets will be around $500k (excluding follow-on)
Moroccan Startups Targeted By The Fund
The fund targets the following categories of startups according to their various stages of development:
- Companies with less than 18 months of activity, having a proven innovative product / service concept with successful marketing (Seed Capital Component);
- Companies with more than 18 months and less than 3 years of activity, having an innovative product / service in production and available on the market, with recurrent sales (Early Stage Capital Component);
- Companies with more than 3 years and less than 5 years of activity, having an innovative product / service in strong growth with positive Ebitda, even if it still realizes losses (Venture Capital Component).
A Look At Azure Partners
Azur Partners is an independent Moroccan investment fund management company focused on venture capital. It structures and manages funds in agriculture, agrifood and innovation.