Three Africa-focused investment firms have received investment approvals from the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund. The three firms — Chui Ventures, VestedWorld, and SME Impact Fund — will receive $9 million, $10 million, and $8 million, respectively, from the Africa Growth Fund, bringing the total number of funds to five.
The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund has previously invested $2.2 million in Aruwa Capital Management and $5 million in Inua Capital.
Aruwa Capital was founded in 2019 and is one of a handful of investment firms in Africa founded or headed by women. The firm, which invests in women or businesses targeted at women, has made investments in Fastizers, CrowdForce, Taeillo, Pngme, and Lifestores Pharmacy.
For Ugandan impact investor, Inua Capital, it hopes to catalyse growth in the country's small business segment and has also invested in Innovex.
The Africa Growth Fund is an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation aimed at closing the financing gap in Africa's impact investment space.
The fund, which was launched in December 2022, is a $200 million fund of funds and receives support from Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), ESPartners (ESP), Criterion Institute, Genesis Analysis, and Africa Communications Group. These partners provide business development services to portfolio companies and help with fund advisory, communications, and diversity/inclusion advisory.
Commenting on its investment in the three firms, Samuel Akyianu, Managing Director of the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund, said: "We are excited to welcome Chui Ventures, Vested World, and SME Impact Fund to our expanding family of investment vehicles. These strategic partnerships represent our ongoing commitment to fostering sustainable development in Africa through impactful investments."
SME Impact Fund is a Tanzanian fund manager that targets investments in the country's agricultural sector. So far, it has made 44 investments worth more than $15 million. These investments have reached 23,000 smallholder farmers in Tanzania and created more than 3,000 jobs.
"Smallholder farmers are the backbone of African agriculture, and their potential remains largely untapped due to financial constraints. Our partnership with the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund is a significant step towards addressing them. By funding agribusiness SMEs, we’re helping the agricultural sector and empowering the farmers themselves," Allert Mentink, CEO of the SME Impact Fund, said.
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