Fanisi Venture Capital Fund
- Region: Africa
- Country: Regional
- Sector: Investment funds
- Year: 2009
- Domicile: Luxembourg
- Instrument: Fund
- Commitment (MNOK) as of 22.12.2017: 96.2
- Original Commitment (MNOK): 100.8
Fanisi Venture Capital Fund is domiciled in Luxembourg and aims to make equity and quasi-equity investments in start-up, early stage and growth-orientated SMEs in the East African region. Total fund size was USD 50m at final close, but has since been reduced to USD 43.5m due to the withdrawel of two philantropical US investors for regulatory reasons. The fund was iniated and promoted by Norfund, and had its first closing in January 2010.
Fanisi means “prosperity” in Swahili, and is the name of the first venture capital fund in East Africa. The fund aims for investments in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Norfund initiated the fund and started the work to establish it in 2007. A supply of risk capital for new enterprises is crucial to achieving growth in the private sector. With the aid of risk capital, Fanisi establishes partnerships with and invests in early-phase enterprises and SMEs with a large growth potential. In addition to owning 50 per cent of the management company, Norfund is Fanisi’s principal investor.
Shortage of capital
Early-stage enterprises are rarely on the customer list of traditional financial institutions and have difficulty in procuring long-term financing. There is often competition to finance the big, established companies, whereas the financing of new ideas, business models and services is regarded as too risky. Norfund’s work with Fanisi arises from a desire to strengthen the ability of local capital markets to take risk and to secure financing for a market segment that has long been ignored.