Ascent raises Ksh.10.8 billion as it announces first close of Ascent Rift Valley Fund II

Ascent raises KSh. 10.8 billion as it announces first close of Ascent Rift Valley Fund II

African SME private equity fund manager, Ascent has announced the first rolling close of its Ascent Rift Valley Fund II (ARVF II) which has raised nearly Ksh. 10.8 billion (more than USD 100 million), exceeding its initial target of Ksh. 8.6 billion ($ 80 million).

Making the announcement, David Owino, Founding Partner of Ascent said ARVF II will invest equity in leading small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Eastern Africa, looking to take large minority or majority stakes.

Owino said the fund will provide funding to scalable SME businesses, helping to drive wider business and industrial development, particularly targeting the financial services, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and services, education, healthcare, and agro-processing sectors.

ARVF II has already made its first investment into financial services in January 2021.

Among the investors in ARVF II include leading Africa investors such as BIO (Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, CDC Group, FMO, the International Finance Corporation(IFC), Norfund, Proparco, SDG Frontier Fund, impact investors and major Kenyan pension funds.

The final close of ARVF II, with a target of Ksh.12.9 billion (USD 120 million) is expected in December 2021.

Ascent’s predecessor fund Ascent Rift Valley Fund I (with USD 80 million of committed capital) had its first close in 2014 and made nine investments in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya across a variety of sectors including healthcare, distribution, financial services, and manufacturing.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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