Women-focussed private equity fund Alitheia IDF has raised $100 million to invest in gender-diverse businesses across Africa. The fund is working to bridge the gap between women-owned and led businesses across Africa. Here women startup founders are less likely to receive funding despite an increase in enterprises.
Alitheia mostly invests in growth-stage companies across South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho. Leading backers of the fund are the African Development Bank (Afdb), Bank of Industry Nigeria, Dutch Good Growth Fund, FinDev Canada, and the European Investment Bank. Finally, the European Investment Bank (EIB) committed $24.6 million and joined this round as a closing investor.
The investment by the EIB into Alitheia is part of the SheInvest initiative looking to mobilize $2.26b in investment to purposefully boost gender equality and the economic empowerment of women. In 2019, Alitheia raised $75 million which went into financing women-led businesses across its target countries. Examples of companies backed by the fund are Jetsream Africa (Ghana logitech), AV Light Steel (South Africa), ReelFruit Ltd (Nigeria), SKLD, and Chika’s Food.
Thus far women enterprises have only received 1% of the total $5 billion that has been reportedly raised by startup companies this year. More on the raise by Alitheia on TechCrunch.