by Russel A
A joint venture fund targeting women-led enterprises has raised over $75 million at the second close. There are expectations of an announcement on their first investment coming soon.
The fund, Alitheia, funds growth in small African SMEs by promoting businesses that are gender-balanced to achieve solid financial returns. They ensure that their businesses deliver a tangible social impact among communities. The fund was launched in 2014 by Alitheia which is Nigeria and South Africa based IDF Capital.
Based on earlier reporting from TechCabal, Alitheia Impact and ESG Manager Temilade Denton pointed out how they use a “gender lens” to invest across the African continent. Olajumoke Akinwunmi and Tokunboh Ishmael are the founding members of Alitheia Capital. Mr. Ishmael chairs the board of Africa Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (AVCA). As for IDF capital, Polo Leteka is the founder, while Telkom and Shell form part of its investors.
The key sectors in focus are agro-processing and agriculture. The fund will invest in mid-sized companies valued at 2 to 5 million dollars in companies such as Lesotho, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia.
At the onset, Alitheia has a target of $100 million. It was then seeded $12.5 million by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) as part of an equity investment. In November 2019, a Canadian financial institution, FinDev Canada added another $7.5 million. The funds intend to create over 5000 jobs for women while providing directly empowering another 100,000 with essential goods and services.
Women-led ventures in Africa
Alitheia IDF stands out as one leading fund
Jango Capital which was founded by Senegalese-born investor Fatoumata Ba.
Rising Tide Africa founded by Yemi Keri and Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, based in Lagos.