African private equity fund manager Ascent has announced the first rolling close of its Ascent Rift Valley Fund II (ARVF II) at more than US$100 million, which will be used to invest in small and medium-sized enterprises in East Africa. 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. Investors in ARVF II include leading Africa investors such as Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, the UK’s development finance institution CDC Group, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Norwegian investment fund Norfund, and Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD).
SOURCE: DISRUPT AFRICA