IFC invest $225M to support early-stage startups

by Vincent Godstime

The International Finance Corporation, an international financial institution with the mandate to help reduce poverty and support sustainable growth in developing countries, has launched a new program today. They are launching a $225 million venture capital platform to back early-stage startups in Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and Pakistan.

The International Finance Corporation, an affiliate of the World Bank, will invest in startups to help them mature into scalable and profitable ventures that can attract mainstream private equity.

In a recent statement, the institution said they will work closely with other World Bank members to improve regulatory reforms and provide sector analyses that would help grow the venture capital ecosystems in these areas.

The IFC also receives backing from other development institutions and the private sector. To date, it has received $50 million from the Blended Finance Facility at the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window. The Facility supports investments in low-income countries, so you can be confident about all of your IFC holdings.

“We see a growing number of clients attracted to the way we can help them during their digital transformation,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s director, in a statement shared with TechCrunch. “Makhtar was speaking at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in Doha.”

IFC is facilitating a scalable investment platform that will help technology companies and entrepreneurs expand in a time of capital shortage. In other words, they’re helping to build transformative tech ecosystems. They want to assist emerging nations but are also committed to creating solutions that can be exported out of these countries.

Despite its emphasis on regional activism, the International Finance Corporation continues to see its share of funding decrease. With the global economic slowdown in mind, the institution also hopes to help bridge that gap.

IFC’s newest accelerator will help to connect small businesses with opportunities for financing in 2015. The program is just one of many investments and efforts IFC has made over the past few years to tap into digital tech ecosystems all over the world.

The institution has so far invested in Twiga Foods, a Kenyan technology and food distribution platform, TradeDepot, a B2B e-commerce startup connecting brands with retailers, and Toters, an on-demand delivery platform in Iraq and Lebanon. It plans to use the platform to invest in regions beyond major hubs like Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal and South Africa.


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