Amadeus Capital Partners, the technology investor, has held a First Close at $75 million on the Amadeus IV Digital Prosperity Fund to invest in late stage venture and growth companies, predominantly in mature markets, developing online and mobile applications and services targeting Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
Other institutional and corporate investors are expected to add to the fund.
South Africa’s MTN Group, is one of the corporate investors in the Amadeus fund, with already over 20 portfolio companies with customers in Asia, Africa and Latin America, including Cambridge Broadband Networks, Edgeware, Celltick and ip.access.
Amadeus Capital partners begun investing online and mobile applications and services relevant to the needs of an emerging middle class of consumers after being approached by MTN.
The two have worked together with a focus on technologies that leap-frog desktop applications and services to those designed specifically for ‘mobile first’ and the technologies and platforms that underpin such services.
Amadeus has identified 19 developing countries with Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa as target markets for innovative online and mobile services due to increasing use of mobile services where firms like OLX, Fundamo and Naspers in Africa have used the mobile first opportunity to build and profitably exit online and mobile services businesses in such markets.
The firm’s believe the demand for mobile and data services that meet the particular needs of this new group of consumers and the businesses serving them is huge; it is no surprise that eight of the world’s ten largest mobile operators are based in emerging markets and drive their business by exploiting new technologies, such as phone to phone airtime remittances and mobile wallets.
Commenting on the Digital Prosperity Fund, Amadeus CEO Anne Glover says: “This fund builds on our sixteen years of experience in investing in the telecommunications market, but with a new focus on a key driver of technology adoption – mobile usage by the increasingly affluent segments of developing economies. We are delighted to have found in MTN a corporate partner who is knowledgeable, well-connected and at the forefront of innovation in developing markets and we look forward to this partnership attracting the best entrepreneurs in the space, to create globally successful businesses.”
Karel Pienaar, Group Chief Strategy and M&A Officer of MTN, added: “This investment in Amadeus’ new Fund will give us exposure to a range of opportunities in online and mobile applications and services relevant to the needs of the emerging middle class of consumer. Investment in companies that focus on those technologies that leap-frog current applications fits well with MTN’s focus of driving sustainable growth through data services and related opportunities.”