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Aruwa Fund I achieves final close

Anna Lyudvig
Dec. 15, 2022, 9:33 a.m.
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Aruwa Capital Management, a Lagos based female founded and led early-stage growth equity and gender lens investment fund, has closed its first institutional fund, which was oversubscribed, surpassing a target of $20m.

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Aruwa Capital Management, a Lagos based female founded and led early-stage growth equity and gender lens investment fund, has closed its first institutional fund, which was oversubscribed, surpassing a target of $20m.

The fund’s first institutional and anchor investor is Visa Foundation, followed by other investors such as Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund, Nyala Venture, backed by Financial Sector Deepening Africa Investments and leading family businesses from Africa, Europe and the United States.

Najada Kumbuli, Head of Investments at Visa Foundation, said: “Visa Foundation is pleased to be the first institutional investor in Aruwa Capital Management. We deeply believe that in order to address the financing. gap that women-led small businesses face, we need to empower and invest in more women led investment funds like Aruwa. We were impressed by Adesuwa’s track record and her approach at tailoring the Fund’s financing to small businesses’ needs. We believe the team’s deep commitment to driving equitable and inclusive economic growth through investments will meaningfully support the business owners and the communities they operate in.”

Through its investment strategy, the Fund aims to create more sustainable and scalable pathways for economic growth and inclusion in the region.

Samuel Akyianu, Chief of Party at the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund (MFAGF), added: “We selected Aruwa Capital as one of our first investments because we were impressed by the team’s grit, conviction and depth of analysis, their value addition for early-growth stage SMEs in Nigeria, and their commitment to drive impact for women and youth. We look forward to working with the team to help make Aruwa Capital a success story.”

The Fund will invest $500k to $2.5m in women-focused small and growing businesses in Nigeria and Ghana, targeting investments in critical sectors such as healthcare, fintech, renewable energy, and essential consumer goods.

To date, the Fund has made six investments, committing over 45% of its capital into a diversified portfolio of rapidly growing companies.

Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Founder of Aruwa Capital Management, said: "Having launched the Fund in October 2019 shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic, we are very grateful for the confidence of world class institutional investors who have put their trust in us and share our vision for the continent: generating superior returns, whilst having a significant socio-economic development impact in the countries we invest in. We are also delighted to have been able to mobilise 30% of our Fund from local investors, who have a first-hand understanding of the operating terrain, as well as mobilising global capital from well respected names, a trend we hope to see continue."

“We are excited to continue to showcase the untapped potential of women in society through our investment portfolio at Aruwa Capital. Global data has shown that investing with a gender lens improves financial returns as well as providing a multiplier effect for social impact in local communities due to the role women play, we look forward to showcasing this in Africa specifically.”

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