Digital deal-making officially features in Africa’s investment landscape with the closing of the first deal originated on Asoko Insight’s (AsokoInsight.com) Digital Engagement platform, the premier service connecting companies across the continent with growth-enabling stakeholders.
On 8 November, Ruai Family Hospital (trading as RFH Healthcare) a leading healthcare provider in Kenya, entered a strategic partnership with the pan-African asset management platform, AfricInvest, through its debt vehicle, AfricInvest Private Credit (APC).
Asoko Insight has been working with APC to originate debt opportunities via the Digital Engagement platform since November 2020, providing high-growth SMEs with a streamlined route into the pipeline, while at the same time cutting down the noise of early-stage origination activities for APC, allowing the firm to concentrate on deals already confirmed to meet qualifying criteria and standards.
Digitisation is already proven to increase efficiency and access to services across a range of sectors, with Africa, in particular, leading the way in the provision of digital financial services and innovative online logistics solutions. With the closure of this deal, the case for digitisation in deal-making is validated as a time- and cost-saving route to origination that democratises access to Africa’s investment ecosystem. Especially in the mid-cap space, where companies are most likely to face a financing gap and where access to funds can be especially impactful, Digital Engagement can support a faster and more efficient deal flow.
We’re excited to see our hypothesis that digitisation supports more effective deal-making validated by the successful closure of this deal
Over the course of the last 12 months, Asoko has fed 55 opportunities to APC, representing a total pipeline of close to $312 million. At 29% of completed submissions to the platform, the digital solution boasts higher conversion rates to qualified deals than can be achieved working offline. Having assessed opportunities against pre-set qualification criteria on the platform, timelines for the investment parties can be shortened. APC continues to use the platform to source opportunities.
Speaking on the deal, Rob Withagen, Asoko’s co-founder and CEO said, “We’re excited to see our hypothesis that digitisation supports more effective deal-making validated by the successful closure of this deal, which directs much-needed capital into Kenya’s health sector at this crucial time. Momentum is building on our Digital Engagement platform, which is increasingly recognised as creating efficiencies in the origination process and opening access to financing for a wider segment of Africa’s high-growth firms.”
APC’s funding of RFH Healthcare represents the first time AfricInvest has directly partnered with a hospital in Kenya, pointing to the expansionary potential of digitising origination. The hospital group, which currently comprises eight facilities providing services from primary outpatient care to specialised and critical care services, will use the financing to expand its reach to other locations and solidify its working capital position.
Asoko’s Digital Engagement platform is utilised by a range of international stakeholders looking to connect with African companies. As well as origination, the platform supports growth-enabling services that offer increased visibility and transparency to aid business and investment connections. Partners include AfricInvest, UNDP, Afreximbank, Africa Merchant Capital, Trade and Development Bank and USAID-WATIH. Find more details at https://bit.ly/3Fdr3Qv