Janngo Capital (Fatoumata Bâ): after €12.5m from the EIB, a new investor is expected in early 2020
The social start-up studio run by Fatoumata Bâ, a former senior executive at Jumia, is looking to invest €60 million in at least 20 high-growth companies such as Jexport in Côte d’Ivoire.
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▪ Janngo Capital (Fatoumata Bâ): after €12.5m from the EIB, a new investor is expected in early 2020
▪ The social start-up studio run by Fatoumata Bâ, a former senior executive at Jumia, is looking to invest €60 million in at least 20 high-growth companies such as Jexport in Côte d’Ivoire.
28/11/2019 at 17h44, by Pierre-Olivier Rouaud
Janngo Capital Partners, the investment vehicle founded by Senegalese Fatoumata Bâ, one of the founders of Jumia, is set to receive new funding soon after support from the European Investment Bank (IEB).
“We are negotiating several projects at the moment. The next funding round will take place before the end of the first quarter of 2020 and we expect to organise at least one more in the second half of the year,” explained Fatoumata Bâ in comments to Jeune Afrique Business+, adding that she wants to raise a total of €60m ($66m) in seed funding to support 20 to 25 companies over a ten-year period.
In May 2018 Janngo closed its first seed funding round of €1m ($1.1m) with a pool of investors including the Mulliez family (Auchan, Décathlon, etc.), Paris-based investment bank Clipperton Finance and France’s major West Africa-focused import-export firm Soeximex as well as group of African business angels.
It should be noted that on 14 November 2019, the European Investment Bank officially approved an investment of up to $12.5m ($13m).
On a personal note, Fatoumata Bâ, who has been nurturing her project since 2015, confirmed that she has invested a “substantial amount” of her own money in the structure but without giving further details.
Janngo sets out to create an innovative investment narrative. “We don’t operate like a fund or an investment holding but as a true operational partner to provide marketing, management and financial support for the enterprises we invest in. And this is done with the firm belief that technology can boost growth in Africa.”
“We aim to select and develop startups in high-growth sectors and enable African SMEs in the economic ecosystem to scale their enterprises by supporting projects still at the seed stage with modest investments of €50,000 ($55,000), explained Ms Bâ,” adding that it is an approach which combines, rather than opposes, strong economic performance and inclusive social impact.
In terms of geographical coverage, Fatoumata Bâ confirmed that Janngo is focused on West Africa. It does not privilege one linguistic community over another but singles out zones that are deprived of development capital in a context where just three countries – Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria – bag almost 90% of deals on the continent.
“For our targets, we have already invested in three companies, she noted. “One beneficiary is the young Côte d’Ivoire startup Jexport, a digital platform based in Abidjan which facilitates import-export logistics,” said Fatoumata Bâ.
“Through our investments we are already present in 21 countries with strong monthly growth figures of around 100% over the past six months.”
In sectoral terms, Janngo focuses on startups with business models that can be easily duplicated in several countries: e-commerce, health, education, media content, logistics as well as digital and financial services.
One forthcoming investment concerns the mobile payments sector which has seen a rush of investors recently as evidenced by Opay’s $120m funding round in Nigeria in November 2019.
Fatoumata Bâ also highlighted an investment strategy that favours the empowerment of women with half of its target investments to be made in enterprises that are founded and operated by or on behalf of women.
Today, Janngo’s team comprises 12 people including 7 at the “studio” in Abidjan run by Ayebobo Niang-Gbane, also a former executive at Jumia, like Fatoumata Ba.
The Paris office is headed by Chief Financial Officer Vincent Gaide, who spent 20 years as Partner at PwC, and Chief Technical Officer Emmanuel Chavane, who also served as CTO at Jumia.
Fatoumata Bâ continues to organise road-shows to attract new investors and seeks financial backers of two main types. The first are development finance institutions (DFI) such as the EIB. The second are private sector African firms or rich entrepreneurs on the continent who are best placed to understand the investment dynamic and specific market features.
“I don’t rule out working with funds but it’s not my priority,” concluded Janngo’s founder and CEO.
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