AFRICA – Emerging markets fund manager network, Capria Ventures, is looking to invest up to US$20 million in two new African funds after opening an office in Nairobi, reports Disrupt Africa.

Founded in 2015, Capria is a global investment firm that funds a network of emerging market fund managers, bringing venture capital innovation and global best practices to local venture capital, private equity and innovative debt funds.

Out of 800 applications, only 19 have been selected to Capria’s network so far, of which seven are from Africa, and the firm is now bidding to increase its presence on the continent having launched an office in Nairobi.

Capria has now announced it is looking to invest up to US$20 million in existing members and two or three new funds to capitalise on the budding entrepreneurial ecosystems of the region.

This will come from a new US$100 million fund earmarked for emerging market managers.

“As a global recession looms, we can expect consumption rates in developed markets to go down. At the same time, evidence suggests that most emerging markets show high resilience to US-initiated economic downturns,” Will Poole, co-founder and managing partner of Capria, said.

“Capria works closely with emerging market funds to build resilient strategies to deliver superior returns for their global investors while creating sustained social and/or environmental impact. Our network model is now more relevant than ever to support local fund managers and link them with global LPs.”

The investment firm announced in December 2018 that it has raised US$40 million to achieve the first close of its US$100-million emerging markets-focused fund.

The fund will make investments in fund management companies in emerging markets. It also seeks to make commitments into emerging market investment funds as a limited partner and direct investments into local businesses.

Seattle-based Capria Ventures, which invests in venture capital, private equity, and other debt and equity funds backing early-growth businesses through its network fund, has earmarked 33-40 per cent of the total US$100 million for Asian markets.

“One particular area that we’re excited about in emerging markets is private consumption,” Dave Richards, co-founder and managing partner of Capria Ventures, said during the Asia PE-VC Summit 2019 in Singapore.

The firm’s increased focus on emerging markets comes as the International Finance Corporation reported that emerging markets and low-income countries need an additional investment of up to US$2.6 trillion to achieve broadly-adopted sustainable development goals.

“This increased interest in the deployment of capital into emerging markets can be attributed to the rise in competition for assets in developed markets, attractive exit multiples, and lack of correlation with developed market assets,” the firm said.

Capria’s eighth investment cycle is now open for applications.