Ascent Rift Valley Fund


Last updated 12 May 2020, by Impactyield.

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At Ascent we feel the most pressing and compelling issue facing Africa is the unacceptably high cost of living in many extremely poor countries. Competition in the "missing middle" is so low that businesses make extremely high margins and profits.

This situation of high margins and lower levels of business sophistication presents a rare business opportunity. Businesses in this “missing middle” often lack the capital to grow effectively but even more importantly they often lack the business structures and partnerships to allow them to reach their full potential.

This is where we, at Ascent, feel our understanding of the markets and our operational experience in SMEs can play a vital role in taking these businesses to the next level and hence catalyzing the economies of these countries while providing investors with market returns.

The Ascent Rift Valley Fund invests in fast growing SMEs in Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Financial description

Ascent Capital believes there is a dramatic investment opportunity in frontier markets where Private Equity is a new concept. Few private equity investments have been made in Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda or South Sudan. This means there are many highly promising opportunities which are very fairly priced due to a lack of competition. Ascent will focus on large minority stakes as entrepreneurs in this region and company sizes do not want to give up control. This means Ascent must prove its value added capabilities and be even more closely aligned with the owners.
Ascent Capital has a unique operational focus based on the previous experience and success of its three partners who have all been involved in multiple successes in operationally creating and turning around East Africa businesses. The operational focus will target revamping the finance function, dramatically strengthening the HR function which is the core of successful scaleability. Also assistance will be provided in creating internal controls, product development, expansion planning and marketing execution. Exits will be prioritized from pre-investment screening by targeting entrepreneurs who are most highly aligned with Ascent Capital's preferred exit strategy.

11 years

of track record


the year funded

60,000,000 USD


Asset manager



Headquarters location:

SDG goals

SDG targets

Equal rights to ownership basic services technology and economic resources

Encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices and sustainability reporting

Expand and upgrade energy services for developing countries

Full employment and decent work with equal pay

Increase access to financial services and markets

Key performance indicators

Fund overview

Asset manager: Ascent

Product track record: Fund has 11 years of track record

Target IRR: 20%

Committed Capital: 20,000,000 USD (US Dollar)

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

Fund domicile:

Product status:

Style/Stage: ,

Inception year: 2012

Vintage year: 2014

Target region: , , ,

Target close date: n.a.

Product term: 10 years +1 +1

Assets under management: 60,000,000 USD (US Dollar)

Investment size: Min: 2,000,000; Max: 5,000,000; Avg: 3,500,000

Co-investment policy: ,

Currency of investments:

Currency for fund / product figures:

Fund investments to date: 3

Fund investments to date exited or repaid: 0

Management fee: 2.5%

Carried interest: 20%

Hurdle rate: 8%%

GIIN Investors' Council Investment: No

Limited Partners / Investors: n.a.

Limited Partner / Investor Type: Development Finance Institution (DFI), Family Office, Pension Funds, Other Institutional Investors


E-mail: n.a.


Phone number: 254704101100.00

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

Guy Brennan


Lucas Kranck

Managing Partner

Impact Performance


Impact thesis

Ascent Capital's goal is to address the needs of the "missing middle" by bringing both capital and operational expertise to investee companies, with a keen focus on the bottom of the pyramid.

Impact Management


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