Development Partners International is investing 60 million euros for a minority stake in Groupe Cofina. Based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Groupe Cofina is a financial services business.
London, 24 May 2022 – Development Partners International (“DPI”), a premier investment firm focused on Africa with $2.8bn in assets under management including co-investments, today announced it is investing €60 million for a significant minority stake in high-growth financial services business, Groupe Cofina. This transaction will support the Company in its mission to accelerate growth for Francophone West and Central’s Africa’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – a critical sector helping to drive economic development in the region.
Founded in 2014 by Jean-Luc Konan and headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Groupe Cofina is developing solutions to bridge the “missing-middle” – the gap between microfinance and traditional institutional financing – and to serve consumer finance customers across Francophone West and Central Africa. Since creation, the business has grown rapidly, developing new, innovative products while providing companies the ability to scale, with almost 1.5 billion euros of credit allocated to date. Groupe Cofina has also significantly expanded its reach across the region – with presence today in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Gabon, Mali, Congo, Burkina Faso and Togo, through subsidiaries operating in each country. The business also has operations in France through a subsidiary approved by the local supervisory authority ACPR (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution).
SME lending and microfinance is still relatively nascent in the region, and the sector remains underpenetrated with entrepreneurs and SMEs lacking access to high quality loans to scale their businesses. Today, it is estimated that only 20% of African SMEs have access to bank loans. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IFC estimated the financing gap for African SMEs at $331 billion. This, combined with positive market trends such as a youthful and fast-growing population, a rapidly emerging middle class, and increasing financial inclusion, has driven demand for Groupe Cofina’s products and services while providing significant runway for further growth.
The investment from DPI will support Groupe Cofina as it looks to cement itself as a regional leader – continuing its ambitious expansion plan and bringing the successful model from existing markets into new countries with similar demand in SME and consumer finance markets. The company will also look to increase investment in innovation, creating new flexible products that are both scalable and adaptable to evolving customer needs. As part of this, the partnership will also enable Groupe Cofina to launch new and differentiated services, gaining access to an even greater pool of potential customers.