People & Money

USAID’s West Africa Virtual DealRoom to Attract $400 million investment

“The aim of USAID’s West Africa Trade Hub and the newly launched Virtual DealRoom is to enable businesses to scale up and contribute to inclusive economic transformation in West Africa by assisting them in attracting private capital”.

The United States of America development aid agency, USAID, has launched a Virtual DealRoom which will showcase to global investors a pipeline of West African businesses that require private investment to expand their operations.

The Virtual DealRoom will contain detailed and verified information about the companies, including the market opportunity they are seeking to invest in thus saving potential investors the cost and time of vetting the businesses.

The businesses to be profiled in the Virtual DealRoom are already beneficiaries of the USAID Programme, West Africa Trade Hub, through which the aid agency co-invests in and assists innovative small and mid-sized firms businesses with high-growth potential with technical capacity development.

The businesses admitted into USAID’S West Africa Trade Hub must be processing or producing high-quality goods with strong market demand and have the potential to attract significant private investment. The businesses being showcased to investors in the Virtual DealRoom thus have tested business models and are already on the path to high growth.

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The aim of USAID’s West Africa Trade Hub and the newly launched Virtual DealRoom is to enable businesses to scale up and contribute to inclusive economic transformation in West Africa by assisting them in attracting private capital. The Trade Hub also supports research and development initiatives in Nigeria to introduce new ideas and technological advancements in the agriculture sector.

The Virtual DealRoom is housed on the platform of Asoko Insight, a corporate data and engagement platform providing global investors, multinationals, and development institutions with an effective route to discover, shortlist, and engage with African companies. This innovative platform now allows investors to connect with a selection of diversified, investment-ready businesses chosen from the Trade Hub’s broader portfolio. Both potential investors and the companies selected are vetted prior to gaining access to the Virtual DealRoom.

This activity seeks to reinforce the Trade Hub’s partnerships with foreign and national investors in West Africa to improve the capacity of companies to expand business operations, increase productivity, and create jobs.

Private Sector is key to development in West Africa

“Private sector investment is key to development in West Africa, and the continent in general, but finding and vetting businesses is often a challenge to investors seeking to make an impact,” said Michael Clements, the Trade Hub’s Chief of Party. “The Virtual DealRoom seeks to help solve this dilemma, and the Trade Hub looks forward to seeing how it will be leveraged to spur economic growth in the region.”

Asoko Insight is Proud to Connect Investors to Quality Opportunities

“It’s exciting to work with USAID and the Trade Hub at a time when it’s allocating more resources to private sector development in Africa,” said Greg Cohen, Asoko Insight COO and Co-Founder. “Asoko’s research and origination work across West Africa illustrates a wide variety of high-quality, innovative businesses that can compete in the global supply chain, but that lack the financing and marketability to break through. The Trade Hub has selected a variety of quality opportunities across the region, and we’re proud to help to help them unlock access to these businesses in order to create new local champions.”

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Investors can access the first batch of select deals here, representing nearly $30 million in new impact opportunities. The Trade Hub selected these businesses based on growth stage, geography, and industry.

The deal pipeline features firms operating in a range of sectors, including agriculture, financial services, healthcare, water and sanitation, biodiversity, ecotourism, energy, apparel, and logistics. The DealRoom will add over 100 select deals in the pipeline over the course of 2021.

Damilare Famuyiwa

Damilare Famuyiwa is a journalist and media consultant with over seven years of experience. He has written for The Nation, Thenet, and Nairametrics.

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