MTN Group, a South Africa-based telecoms group, has become the cornerstone investor in the Amadeus IV Digital Prosperity Fund, which is the latest fund raised by venture capital firm Amadeus Capital Partners, taking it to a $75m first close.

The fund will see Amadeus invest in late stage venture and growth companies in mature markets, which are developing software designed to be used by the middle classes of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.   

The fund will be MTN’s main venture capital relationship, and the South Africa-based telecoms group is no longer pursuing direct investments, but looking to work with the portfolio companies backed by Amadeus. In August 2010, MTN signed a memorandum of understanding with US-listed chip maker Intel to develop broadband access in Africa. Part of this agreement included MTN investing alongside Intel Capital, the chip maker’s corporate venturing unit, in “emerging technology companies”.

Nik Kershaw,…

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