African Rivers Fund


Last updated 11 May 2020, by Impactyield.

Edit this fund

The African Rivers Fund is an investment fund with a target of USD 50 million with a focus on investing in SMEs in Central Africa. The investment strategy of the African Rivers Fund is to take advantage of untapped investment opportunities in Central Africa by investing risk capital in sustainable growing companies with the aim to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns to investors. This will be achieved by creating a balanced portfolio of income-generative and high-growth SME companies. ARF will be able to tap into the many opportunities that we see in the range from UDSD 250K up to USD 5 milion in Central Africa. Focus countries are DRC, Congo-Brazzaville and Uganda covering a population of over 120 million with additional target countries CAR and Burundi.

Financial description

ARF targets a 20-25% gross return on its investments. The fund provides to SMEs a combination of equity and mezzanine financing generating cash flow and cash yield during the investment and holding period of the Fund. From our experience with the Central African SME Fund (CASF), we expect around 20% of the portfolio exposure to be in equity and around 80% of the portfolio exposure to be held in debt instruments with or without revenue sharing features. The debt portfolio is targeted to generate around 15% gross return and has an expected average duration of 3-4 years. The equity portion of our portfolio is targeted to deliver the additional 5-10% gross return and has a longer expected holding period of at least 5 years. The current CASF fund is achieving monthly cash flow break-even after 2 years and 2 months after first close and is scheduled to return the first capital back to its investors in 2Q2013 (2 ½ years after first close).

7 years

of track record


the year funded

50,000,000 USD


Asset manager



Headquarters location:

Other funds managed by this asset manager: Central Africa SME Fund

SDG goals

SDG targets

Equal rights to ownership basic services technology and economic resources

Universal access to safe and nutritious food

Universal access to sexual and reproductive care, family planning and education

Free primary and secondary education

Promote policies to support job creation and growing enterprises

Increase access to financial services and markets

Key performance indicators

Fund overview

Asset manager: XSML

Product track record: Fund has 7 years of track record

Target IRR: 16%

Committed Capital: 50,000,000 USD (US Dollar)

Target return category: Risk-adjusted market-rate of return

Fund domicile:

Product status:

Style/Stage: , ,

Inception year: 2016

Vintage year: 2016

Target region: , , ,

Target close date: 01/04/2017

Product term: 10 year + 2 x 1 year extension

Assets under management: 50,000,000 USD (US Dollar)

Investment size: Min: 250,000; Max: 5,000,000; Avg: 1,500,000

Co-investment policy: ,

Currency of investments:

Currency for fund / product figures:

Fund investments to date: 17

Fund investments to date exited or repaid: 0

Management fee: 3.25%

Carried interest: 20%

Hurdle rate: 6%%

GIIN Investors' Council Investment: Yes

Limited Partners / Investors: IFC, FMO, Lundin Foundation, CDC, Proparco, BIO, Dutch Good Growth Fund

Limited Partner / Investor Type: Development Finance Institution (DFI), Endowments/Foundations, Family Office, Pension Funds


E-mail: n.a.


Phone number: +31 8 5273 6059

If you wish to have your details removed from this database please email

Barthout van Slingelandt

Managing Partner

Jarl Heijstee

Managing Partner

Impact Performance


Impact thesis

Core to the principles of the fund is the impact generated beyond financial returns. In cooperation with our existing investors, we defined an impact strategy for CASF which will be duplicated for ARF.
Next to a focus on viable businesses that generate returns, ARF aims to have an impact (“Direct Impact”) on vulnerable, low-income communities by investing the majority of funds available to:
o Generate employment in these communities to improve social and economic security;
o Improve access to goods and services for the low-income population, including:
o Provide affordable healthcare services and medicine;
o Provide affordable education;
o Improve food security and nutrition
In addition to having a Direct Impact, the Fund aims to create significant impact on the communities it operates in by addressing market failures in the economy, lowering operating costs for businesses and creating affordable goods and services for the overall population (“Indirect Impact”). The improvement of access to markets for SME suppliers, which previously was not or is insufficiently available, is part of that goal.

Impact Management


Financial benchmark

Request information about this fund