Andile Ngcaba’s Convergence Partners Raises R5.1 Billion To Drive Africa’s Digital Inclusion

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Andile Ngcaba’s Convergence Partners Raises R5.1 Billion To Drive Africa’s Digital Inclusion

Convergence Partners, owned by ICT industry veteran Andile Ngcaba, has raised $296 million or R5.1 billion, surpassing its initial target by over 18%, to drive digital inclusion across Africa.

The funds were raised through Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF).

The recent close of CPDIF marks a significant milestone for the company, as it represents Convergence Partners’ largest fund to date, bringing total funds under management to more than $600 million or R10.3 billion.

The close was backed by a combination of existing and new investors comprising leading global and regional development finance institutions (DFIs), pension funds and financial institutions based in Europe and Africa.

CPDIF was launched in June 2020 and had a first close of $120 million or R2 billion in July 2021.

The Fund is focused on investing in digital infrastructure opportunities across sub-Saharan Africa. This includes investments in fibre networks, data centres, wireless, towers, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and other critical digital infrastructure that is vital for the growth of the digital economy in the region.

In addition to investing in physical assets, CPDIF is also aimed at developing and supporting initiatives that promote access to education, financial services, healthcare, and other essential services through digital technologies.

The last 20 years have seen internet penetration in sub–Saharan Africa grow exponentially as a result of investments in enabling infrastructure. Since inception, Convergence Partners has seen the need to invest in this space, motivated at the time by the ITU’s The Missing Link/Maitland Report. Years later there is still more work to be done if we wish to close the digital divide and ensure that the Africa is able to reap the benefits from the current and next iteration of the technologies.

“The closing of CPDIF is a major step forward for Convergence Partners and for the development of the digital economy in sub-Saharan Africa,” says Brandon Doyle CEO and Founding Partner of Convergence Partners.

“This closing is just the beginning, and we look forward to working with our investors and partners to build the digital infrastructure required to support the growth of the region’s digital economy. We strongly believe such collaborations promote innovation, entrepreneurship, skill development, and job creation by vastly expanding access to the internet and all the essential digital tools it provides.”

Convergence Partners has played a crucial role in ensuring the sustained growth of digital technologies across sub-Saharan Africa and is committed to continuing to support the growth and development of the region’s digital economy through investments in critical digital infrastructure.

“We are extremely grateful for the continued support of our repeat investors and the new support given to us from first-time investors that have joined us on this journey to address the challenge of the digital inclusion across the continent, one technology at a time.

“As we are 7 years away from 2030 we commit to addressing SDGs and preparing digital infrastructure for Africa which is soon to be home to 2 billion people with the youngest population on our planet,” says Andile Ngcaba, Chairman and Founding Partner at Convergence Partners.

“We will continue to build on our original vision by investing in digital infrastructure that is a key enabler for digital inclusion. This Fund will enable us to continue leveraging our deep knowledge of technology, investments and the African market to deliver measurable impact.”

Also read: Andile Ngcaba’s Convergence Partners Secures R305 Million To Rollout Africa’s Digital Infrastructure

Convergence Partners Convergence Partners, owned by ICT industry veteran Andile Ngcaba, has secured $20 million or R305 million in funds from the Mineworkers Provident Fund (MWPF).

The investment was done through Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund.

Convergence Partners has backing from several international development finance institutions with the aim of accelerating the digital infrastructure rollout critically needed across the African continent to address the problems of availability, quality and cost of digital infrastructure.

The allocation from MWPF will be used to fund several types of infrastructure needed to enable Africa’s active participation in the digital economy. These include communication backbone infrastructure such as 5G, cloud and edge processing infrastructure such as data centres, wireless access technologies, as well as continuing investments into broadband network infrastructure.

The Convergence fund builds on a successful track record of two previous funds which have seen both strong returns and high impact. Previous investments have contributed meaningfully to improving digital communications availability, quality and price, and the new fund will continue to improve access to services and provide lower costs.

“We see this as a strong investment opportunity for our members as well as being critical for Africa’s digital transition,” Mathabo Makhaya, Investment Committee chair of MWPF says.

Also read: Andile Ngcaba’s Pan-African Private Equity Tech Investor Links Africa to the Digital World

Andile Ngcaba – a South African tech entrepreneur and founder of Convergence Partners When Andile Ngcaba – a South African tech entrepreneur and founder of Convergence Partners – moved to Silicon Valley in California, United States, few people paid attention.

He set up his office in Mountain View, the suburb, where big tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn are headquartered.

Ngcaba was daring enough to swim with the sharks of the tech industry.

“If you swim with sharks, make sure you have the appetite of a whale,” to quote Matshona Dhliwayo, a Canadian-based philosopher and entrepreneur.

Speaking to TechFinancials, Ngcaba confirms he has “been part of the Silicon Valley community for some time and will continue to be”.

“My presence in Silicon Valley has enabled me to develop a critical understanding of technology advancement and apply them in Africa to ensure we keep pace with the rest of the world,” says Ngcaba.

“One of our portfolio companies Comsol, collaborated with Verizon to launch 5G fixed wireless trials in South Africa in 2019.”

Other portfolio companies such as Snapt have gone on to establish themselves in the US.

“Making Africa Open Source, Decentralised Finance, Blockchain, and Open Radio Access Network continent will remain at the epicentre of our strategy,” explains Ngcaba.

“This will be done by building a bridge between Silicon Valley and Africa,” he paused as if to bring attention to his next point.

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