Home » This Kenyan Investment banker recently raised $128 million to invest in East African SMEs

This Kenyan Investment banker recently raised $128 million to invest in East African SMEs

by Omokolade Ajayi

When discussing professionals who are leveraging their strong networks and resources to support the development of the next generation of African entrepreneurs and business owners, David Owino, a leading Kenyan investment banker and venture capitalist, is a notable example.

With a career spanning over 12 years at Centum, a prominent East African investment company controlled by the family of the late Kenyan tycoon Chris Kirubi, Owino has risen through the ranks from company secretary to acting managing director and head of the private equity division. In this position, he expertly managed a portfolio worth more than $150 million.

In 2012, Owino founded Ascent Capital Africa, an entrepreneurial investment partner, and private equity firm focused on Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.

His passion and commitment to supporting and nurturing a league of entrepreneurs with the drive to grow best-in-class enterprises have seen him become one of the leaders in the African venture capital space. In 2019, he became the chairman of the East Africa Private Equity and Venture Capital Association while continuing to lead Ascent. 

In September 2022, Owino and Ascent made headlines by raising $128 million from institutional investors to invest in East African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The $128-million investment was raised through Ascent Capital’s new fund, Rift Valley Fund II (ARVF II), a 10-year private equity fund managed by Ascent Capital Management Africa II and based in Mauritius.

The Kenyan investment banker revealed that the fund’s proceeds, which exceeded the $120-million target, will be invested in leading East African SMEs in exchange for minority or majority stakes, particularly those in the manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, financial services, educational, healthcare, and agro-allied sectors.

ARVF II, Ascent Capital’s new fund, has already made three investments in the financial and healthcare services sectors. Valley Hospital in Nakuru, Kenya, and Diani Beach Hospital on Kenya’s south coast are the two most recent investments.

These investments demonstrate Owino’s commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and improving the African business landscape. His approach to investing in Africa is not only about making returns on investment but also about creating sustainable and long-term impact.

The Kenyan investment banker turned venture capitalist believes that by collaborating closely with entrepreneurs, providing them with capital and resources, and mentoring them, he can assist them in building successful businesses that will contribute to the economic development of their communities and the continent as a whole.

You may also like


The world’s premier source of news on Africa’s billionaires and UHNWIs.


Get the daily email to stay informed about African billionaires and UHNWIs. Get informed and entertained, for free.

Latest News

@2024 – Billionaires.Africa. All Rights Reserved.