20 Dec 2023

Reflections on 2023 and a look ahead to 2024

As we head into the holiday season and look forward to 2024, it is a timely moment to reflect on another important and successful year at DPI.

We are proud that 2023 marked DPI as Africa’s most active investment firm. We deployed over $400m of capital into Africa’s most exciting and high growth businesses, made four new investments, and completed exits which generated over US$250 million in proceeds. To end the year, we were humbled to be acknowledged by SuperReturn and Preqin as the Pan-African firm of the year for the second year in a row.

Our investment highlights from 2023 include:

  • Making an investment in Pan African Towers (PAT), a leading digital infrastructure company based in Nigeria.
  • Acquiring Solevo, a leading African distribution platform for specialty chemicals, in what was one of the largest African deals this year.
  • Leading an investment consortium, including BII, South Suez, in a $165 million investment in Kazyon, Egypt’s leading discount retailer.
  • Investing in Marcyrl, a top ten pharmaceutical manufacturer in Egypt, focused on expanding access to specialty drugs across Africa.

Meanwhile, our existing portfolio companies demonstrated notable success:

  • MNT-Halan, Egypt’s leading fintech ecosystem, has grown into Egypt’s largest and fastest growing lender to the unbanked. Following the latest fundraise, the business is valued at over $1 billion – the only African fintech unicorn minted in 2023.
  • Groupe Cofina, a leading financial services business, was recognised by GPCA in its annual award for impact on gender and diversity.

At the same time, staying true to our commitment to look beyond financial indicators and consider how we have a positive impact on the African continent, we:

  • Joined the ESG Data Convergence Initiative to drive collaboration across the industry on meaningful ESG metrics for private markets.
  • Joined the Initiative Climat International, a UN PRI initiative and global community of private equity firms committed to managing the risk of climate change.
  • Became a signatory to the ILPA Diversity in Action.
  • Hosted two Impact Forums – one on DEI in partnership with 2X Global, and another on Biodiversity during Climate Week and UNGA, with guest speakers from UN Biodiversity, UN PRI, the IFC, and FSD Africa.

None of this remarkable work would be possible without our excellent colleagues, investors, management teams, and industry partners.

Special recognition must go to Adefolarin Ogunsanya, Ziad Abaza and James Griffiths who were elected to the partnership this year. These new partners have played a crucial part in DPI’s recent transactions.

Now, as we look ahead to 2024, we are excited to continue our close partnership with our investors and investee companies to continue striving for growth while creating impact around climate change, gender equality and job growth. We see a range of compelling long-term trends in Africa and believe that these will continue to underpin the exciting investment proposition of the fastest-growing companies there. It is a high growth continent experiencing mass urbanisation and population development where the average age is only nineteen. These factors signal a growing mass market and consumer class which will continue to present investable opportunities in 2024 and beyond.

We wish everyone a happy holiday and festive season and look forward to engaging in 2024.