Ascent, an African private equity fund manager, has announced the first rolling close of its Ascent Rift Valley Fund II (ARVF II) at more than US$100 million from the World Bank and other top sovereign funds, including the International Finance Corp (IFC), the CDC Group (UK government), Dutch financier FMO, Proparco, French development finance institution, and other investors, which will be used towhich will be used to invest in East African small and medium-sized businesses
Ascent stated that ARVF II far exceeded its initial target of US$80 million, with the final close of ARVF II, with a target of US$120 million, expected in December 2021.
The firm’s new funding warchest will be used to acquire a majority or significant minority stake in the companies in which it invests. The CDC contributed $25 million to the fund, while Kenya’s pension fund contributed $12 million. With offices in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, Ascent Capital employs a decentralized approach.
“We are proud to have raised this additional capital from prominent investors to invest in Africa’s most promising companies,” Ascent founding partner David Owino said. “We are now well positioned to become the leading SME fund manager in East Africa, providing capital and knowledge from our local advisory teams to ambitious entrepreneurs.”
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