Q & A with Convergence Partners' Brandon Doyle

Earlier this week, South Africa's Convergence Partners announced it had concluded a R400 million (approximately $40 million) preference share facility with Nedbank Capital.

According to the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) investment management firm the facility will be "utilised by CPI (Convergence Partners Investments Pty Ltd) to fund the next phase of its investment lifecycle, primarily its commitment to the recently launched Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund (CPCIF)."

"CPCIF, which reached its first close of $145 million in October 2013, is the second investment vehicle that Convergence Partners manages, focusing on ICT infrastructure related companies and projects on the African continent."

CPI is the vehicle that houses Convergence Partners’ first investment portfolio.

Commenting on the new facility Brandon Doyle, CEO of Convergence Partners said:

“This new facility will support the critical investment activities of our recently launched ICT infrastructure fund, and will allow us to continue the successful relationship we have with Nedbank Capital - both at a Convergence Partners level and through working together in many of our underlying ventures,”

“We will continue to focus strongly on initiatives that increase the availability of communications, broadband services and new technology offerings to African people.” he further commented.

We caught up with the ICT investment management firm's CEO to hear more about their business and investments.

Convergence Partners

iAFRIKAN: What investment stage is Convergence Partners looking to invest at in ICT ventures? (Seed, Series A, Series B, etc.)

Brandon Doyle: Convergence Partners’ preferred strategy is growth capital, taking strategic, minority stakes in fast growing companies and injecting its capital and providing its skills, knowledge and experience to the company to accelerate such growth.

We have a strong focus on ICT infrastructure and in this regard will invest in mature, brownfield and in select cases, greenfield ventures.

We also do selected venture funding, typically at more advance stages of the Venture Capital (VC) cycle (Series B & later).

Can you share with us the strategy and criteria used by Convergence Partners for investment?

CPCIF targets investments in companies with exposure to high growth segments of the market, proven and sustainable technology platforms, and with skilled, experienced management teams.

CPCIF will invest in transactions where it will have the ability to actively participate in portfolio companies. It will also focus on investments that have strong social and environmental benefits.

Would you then consider only enterprise ICT investments or would you look at investing in consumer focussed ICT investments on the continent?

CPCIF is generally focused on enterprise facing entities, although SME & consumer businesses cannot be ignored in Africa.

CPCIF invests across sub-Saharan African.

Currently which investments are you managing through CPCIF?

What was the motivation for investing in these companies?

Whilst the detailed investment thesis for each is different, all represent quality opportunities for growth investment, with strong management teams and partners in our chosen sector and geography.