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HarbourVest boosts EM exposure through Amadeus deal

The deal involves stakes in 10 emerging-market assets from MTN Group, Africa's largest telecoms company.

HarbourVest Partners has gained exposure to growth-stage emerging-markets companies through a deal with Amadeus Capital Partners.

The Boston-headquartered firm acquired a majority interest in Amadeus’s Digital Prosperity Fund I and a related co-investment vehicle for $87 million, according to a statement. The stakes were offloaded by MTN Group, Africa’s largest telecoms company.

Rede Partners advised MTN and Amadeus.

The 2013-vintage Digital Prosperity Fund I has invested in 10 companies, including Turkish payments processor lyzico and Indian online marketplace Indiamart, which listed in June for an equity valuation of around $400 million. The co-investment vehicle contains a stake in African travel booking website TravelStart Group.

MTN Group was a cornerstone investor in Fund I, which targets mobile-first companies in emerging markets, according to a 2013 statement announcing its $75 million commitment.

The sale was part of MTN’s plan announced in March to divest assets over the next three years in order to focus on its highest earning activities.

HarbourVest has invested in emerging markets before. In 2014, it joined Coller Capital in backing the spin-out of Absa Capital Private Equity, the private equity arm of Barclays Africa Group. It is in market with Dover Street X seeking $6.5 billion, according to Secondaries Investor data.

London-based venture capital firm Amadeus, which is in market with its fifth flagship technology fund, invests globally in the software, hardware and medical technology sectors, among others.

According to research by advisor Greenhill, secondaries stakes from funds outside North America, Europe and Asia accounted for 5 percent of deal volume last year.