African private equity fund manager Ascent today announced the first rolling close of its Ascent Rift Valley Fund II (ARVF II) at more than $100 million, exceeding its initial target of $80 million. The final close of ARVF II, with a target of $120 million, is expected in December 2021.

ARVF II will invest equity in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Eastern Africa, looking to take large minority or majority stakes. The fund will provide funding to scalable SME businesses, he...