Alternative funding sources for Uganda: Jacana Partners

Disclaimer

I am not an agent or affiliated with this entity. The information below is independent and based on my research and experience. While I have taken steps to ensure the accuracy of the information presented here, I cannot guarantee that it will remain correct.

basic information

Target: Established company – with a three year audited financial position and a track record of sales and profits.

Industry focus: Nothing in particular

Amounts provided: $0.5 to $5 million

Type of financing: private equity

For more information: Contact East Africa: +254(0) 20 250 4775 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE

Who is behind the fund?

Founded in 2008 by a group of British entrepreneurs and philanthropists, the firm initially worked with two local fund managers: Fidelity Capital in West Africa and InReturn Capital in East Africa.

The structure combines highly experienced European private equity veterans with local teams of experts. A merger has now begun (January 2013) to create a pan-African fund manager that will manage a new $75 million pan-African SME fund. Jacana is currently raising money from international investors.

The company currently has US$45 million in funds provided by a range of individual and institutional investors including FMO (a Dutch investment bank), Oiko Credit (a cooperative and social investor) and Finn Fund (a development fund).

How is the process?

It is spelled out on their website but in summary they expect to be moving within 1 month from start to finish with key approval being given “in principle” at around 1 month.

In summary:

  • You will be presented with an initial summary of your business plan.
  • If interested, they are more likely to then request a detailed business plan.
  • After that, they will follow up with an in-person meeting to assess the opportunity.
  • Once they agree in principle, the other aspects include due diligence and closing.

My tips for success?

  • High growth. Like many private equity firms, they rely on well-established companies with a strong focus on growth. For example, they highlight that they expect earnings after the exit will be around five times their original investment. Your business should therefore be able to deliver high returns, otherwise it is not worth developing the plan.
  • team. For a private equity firm, much like for a venture capital firm, a solid team is a key factor. You must build a strong team, one that views good governance, ethics and strong financial controls as key factors.
  • Clear business plan. When creating your business plan, have a clear and articulated strategy that shows where the growth will come from. Illustrate the business competitive advantage, ie you do it better or differently than the rest.

Otherwise good luck.