SEAF to launch first African agri fund – exclusive

The impact investment fund manager is launching an agri-focused private equity fund in Tanzania.

The Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF), the impact investment fund manager with $333 million of assets under management, is launching an agribusiness private equity impact fund in Tanzania.

This will be the firm’s first fund on the African continent and its 23rd country-specific fund globally.

The final fund close is targeted for the first quarter of 2015 when it will start deploying capital. SEAF funds usually target between $25 million and $50 million each and attract commitments from development finance institutions and foundations.

All investments are made with the aim of making a positive impact to local communities but also to provide a commercial return to investors. SEAF does charge fees but is a not-for-profit organisation.

The Tanzania fund will target mid-stream small to medium-sized agribusinesses and will not invest into primary agriculture production. SEAF investments are usually between $500,000 and $3 million in size.

The firm has already identified some potential pipeline companies in the fruit and vegetable, and poultry sectors.

SEAF usually exits through management buy-outs, or through trade sales within the industry.

Previous investors include the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group, and Swedish development financier Swedfund.

SEAF has 22 country specific funds around the world including in India, Georgia and Colombia.