Ascent capital caps $100 million in funds

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

Ascent Capital, a Kenya-based private equity manager has raised more than USD 100 million to its Ascent Rift Valley Fund to invest in small and medium enterprises in East Africa, surpassing the firm’s initial goal of USD 80 million.
ARVF targets small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Eastern Africa, looking to take large minority or majority stakes. 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.
Ascent, which was among several new private equity firms established in the past decade to take advantage of growing popularity of the asset class in the region, had raised USD 80 million in its first round in 2015.
Ascent Capital was founded in 2012 and established its first fund, ARVF I, in 2014. Placements from ARVF I ranged from USD 2 million to USD 15 million, serving companies in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya. Ascent Capital is targeting a final close of ARVF II in December 2021 with a total volume of USD 120 million. The firm plans to invest from this fund in amounts of USD 4 million to USD 15 million, reaching SMEs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.