Ayeni leaves Orange to get into Africa

Wale Ayeni has departed from a position leading Orange's North American corporate venturing investments to fund African startups on behalf of IFC.

Olawale (Wale) Ayeni has left France-based telecommunications company Orange, where he led its North American startup investments as principal, to join International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of World Bank.

Ayeni joined Orange in 2013 from financial services firm JP Morgan’s investment banking team, where he handled investments in the technology, media and telecom sector. He was listed as one of Global Corporate Venturing's Rising Stars in January this year.

During his time at for its Orange Digital Ventures, the firm's US investment subsidiary, Ayeni’s target areas included fintech, enterprise cloud software, big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, connectivity and the internet of things. Its investments included Veniam, Chain and WEVR.

As part of IFC’s venture capital team Ayeni will focus on African investments and pursue his passion, frontier market investing. IFC said in June this year it plans to double the value of its VC portfolio to $1bn in the next two years.

– This article first appeared on our sister site Global Corporate Venturing. Image courtesy of LinkedIn.

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