Ascent enters market with $50million First Close for the Ascent Rift Valley Fund



  • First private equity fund to raise capital from local pension funds
  • 70% of the funds are committed by commercial investors 
  • Fund to invest in enterprises across Eastern Africa
WednesdayJuly 23, 2014… Eastern Africa’s new private equity player, Ascent, has  announced the first close of their Ascent Rift Valley Fund (ARVF), which raised $50million to be invested in growth enterprises across Eastern Africa. Ascent will invest in 8 to 12 companies across the region. The investment size will be between $1million and $9million.
The fund has successfully tapped into local institutional capital, including pension funds, in its first fundraising. The total Kenyan institutional capital contribution to the Ascent Rift Valley Fund currently stands at $5million, which is 10% of total commitments. Commercial investors including local institutions and private international investors have committed 70% of the funds.
Speaking during the launch of the fund, Ascent Capital Advisory Services’ Partner David Owino, lauded the local pension funds regulatory body, Retirements Benefits Authority (RBA), for making it possible for pension funds to invest in the private equity asset class. Mr. Owino noted that as an alternative asset class private equity presents the pension funds with exciting investment options in untapped markets and sectors.
Mr. Owino said “This is the first time in the region that local pension funds have committed to invest in a private equity fund. We are honored to be the first private equity fund to have won the trust of the local pension funds. In addition to the local institutional investors, the fund has also attracted significant capital from international investors. Coming on the back of the successful Eurobond milestone, this is another sign that the country’s financial sector has come of age.”
He added “Ascent leverages its offices in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, managed by local staff, and the strong operational background of its team to support investee companies.”