Goodwell Investments and Alitheia Capital have announced the first close of $60 million.million for their uMunthu II fund which invests in early and growth-stage SMEs in Africa, with a particular focus on businesses led by women.The fund’s capital raise was led by a diverse group of international investors.
uMunthu is a pan-African fund investing in SMEs that broaden access in key areas, namely: financial inclusion; digital inclusion; mobility and logistics; energy; healthcare, education, clean drinking water or sanitation facilities for un(der)served groups in society.
Els Boerhof, managing partner of Goodwell said, : “The challenge is that even with this progress, millions of households lack access to affordable basic goods and services. At the same time, this group has significant buying power. The African market provides a huge opportunity for impact and economic growth, especially during turbulent economic times, as we learned once again during recent crises. African economies and specifically inclusive businesses that provide essential products are highly resilient and continue to grow, contrary to global developments. Because crisis or not, unmet demand for basic goods and services on the continent will rise for an ever-growing group of underserved users.”
The investment aims to bridge this gap in Africa by investing in local entrepreneurs who offer localized solutions to address pressing challenges.
The investment teams which are led by women, will operate from the same regions as the entrepreneurs they support, fostering a deeper understanding of the local context and facilitating impactful change.
According to Tokunboh Ishmael, co-founder and managing director of Alitheia Capital comments: “uMunthu II will tap into the huge potential of inclusive businesses that provide high-quality, reasonably priced goods and services for underserved low-income groups, such as food, housing, transportation, and healthcare. Improving access to these essentials directly links to increasing participation in social and economic networks and improving livelihoods. Funding from uMunthu II will enable these innovative entrepreneurs to build businesses that reach millions of underserved end-users while delivering positive social and environmental impact and market-rate financial returns.”
uMunthu II seeks to address this gap and actively seeks out women-led businesses, as only 15% of venture capital funding currently goes to companies founded or led by women.
The fund also intends to expand the uMunthu II portfolio and attract new family offices and institutional investors to its network.
These investors are seeking growth opportunities aligned with their impact and financial objectives, recognizing the immense potential for creating social and environmental impact on the African continent while achieving competitive financial returns.
Since its launch,uMunthu II has invested in nine companies, including Copia, Chicoa Fish Farm, Sendy, Good Nature Agro, Instill Education, and Origen Fresh. These investments reflect the fund’s overall strategy of targeting high-impact sectors.