Tech investor AIG to become first African unicorn

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Africa Internet Group (AIG) is set to become Africa’s first unicorn, after international insurer AXA bought an 8 percent stake in the tech investor for 75 million euros (US$84 million).

The investment values the company at $1.04 billion, according to the Financial Times, and is expected to close by March.

AIG, although founded and based in Nigeria, is active in North Africa and has invested in startups such as online marketplaces Jumia (it's main subsidiary) and Kaymu, food ordering business Hellofood, and car hailing app Easy Taxi.

AXA joins other investors mobile carriers MTN and Millicom, and European tech investor Rocket Internet.

The deal also means AXA will be the exclusive provider of insurance products through the marketplace platforms.

“Internet is creating unparalleled opportunities for consumers and businesses in Africa to connect and do business in a new way,” said Jumia and AIG cofounders Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara in a statement. “We expect Africa’s ecommerce and online businesses to develop rapidly as a result of the strong growth of the middle class coupled with the increasing mobile phone and internet penetration.”

The investment will be used to strengthen AIG’s balance sheet and support “continued growth”, the company said in the statement.

Feature image via FortuneGreece.

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