Private equity fund Ascent Rift Valley Fund II LP receives US$10m from IFC

KENYA – The International Finance Corporation (IFC) says it will make a US$10 million equity investment in East African based Private Equity fund Ascent Rift Valley Fund II.

Ascent Rift Valley Fund II L.P. is a 10-year closed-end generalist private equity fund targeting small and medium companies in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.

The fund aims to invest in and develop small and medium-sized enterprises in East Africa and contribute to economic growth in the region.

Ascent Rift Valley Fund II is seeking to raise US$120 million total committed capital.

In December, the private equity firm secured a US$10 million investment from the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO.

Ascent Rift Valley Fund II L.P is managed by Ascent Capital Management Africa II Ltd, a company created under the laws of Mauritius and focused on investing in East African businesses.

The fund is steered by highly skilled private equity professionals including David Owino, Lucas Kranck, Koome Imathiu and Florian Pape.  

IFC is a division of the World Bank that invests in the private sector in low-income countries. Information on its website shows that between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, IFC committed US$4.6 billion in investments to private businesses across the Sub Saharan Africa region.

In 2015, the firm raised the funds from foreign investors and local pension funds including Kenya Power Pension Fund, Nation Media Group Pension Fund, development financiers CDC of the UK, FMO (the Netherlands), Norfund (Norway), and OeEB (Austria).

Ascent has invested in Medpharm Holdings Africa, an Ethiopian diagnostic laboratory, and Uganda’s Chims Africa Ltd, a company that operates a chain of 130 MTN mobile money agencies in Uganda.

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