A foremost equity and investment company in Lagos Nigeria, Aruwa Capital Management, weekend disclosed that its first institutional fund was oversubscribed and exceeded its expected target of $20million.
Aruwa Capital is a female founded and led early state growth equity and gender lens investment fund.
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.
Aruwa Capital Management was founded in 2019 by Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes who has leveraged more than a decade of investment banking and private equity experience from leading global organisations such as J.P. Morgan.
According to the Managing Partner, Aruwa Capital, Adesuwa Okunbo-Rhodes, in a Press Statement she personally endorsed
Rhodes pointed out that the investment gap faced by women in Africa which comprised 40% of all small and medium enterprises (SMEs) regrettably received only 1% of startup capital 1 which she attributed to the lack of female capital allocators in the region.
“Through its investment strategy, the Fund aims to create more sustainable and scalable pathways for economic growth and inclusion in the region.
“The Fund will invest $500 thousand to $2.5 million 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.
“Aruwa invests in innovative businesses, poised for scale, that provide essential goods and services to the rapidly expanding female economy, and businesses that are founded or led by women or have gender diverse teams.
It further added that the Fund has made six investments, committing over 45% of its capital into a diversified portfolio of rapidly growing companies adding that it has established a reputation for rigorous investment selection and active hands-on support of management teams on the ground, to improve Company operations and performance.
Also, 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.”
Samuel Akyianu, Chief of Party at the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund (MFAGF) said:
“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.”
Bart Schaap, Managing Director at Nyala Venture noted: “With our investment, we are putting our weight behind local and innovative capital providers in Sub Saharan Africa with a focus on gender lens.
Adesuwa has made history today being the first female solo GP to raise an institutional first fund over $10 million in Nigeria.