Incofin, a Belgian investment management firm that advises and manages funds that back microfinance institutions in developing countries, has announced additional commitments from new investors for its agRIF fund, enabling the fund to reach $140 million in aggregate capital in an interim close. The fund aims to help smallholder farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America gain access to much-needed financial services.
Between them, AXA Investment Managers, KBC Pensioenfonds, Korys, Invest in Vision Global Social Impact Fund and Maatschappij voor Roerend Bezit van de Boerenbond Funds have committed an additional $27 million to the third-generation fund, which was launched in 2015. It’s anticipated that the fund, which according to Incofin’s website is targeting $200 million, will hold its final close in June this year.
So far, the fund has invested $34 million in agricultural and rural-focused financial institutions in the regions in which it invests. Generally, the fund’s strategy is to structure its deals as leveraged private equity investments, but it will also invest debt in agricultural SMEs and agricultural focused financial intermediaries.
The new investors join an LP roster which included several European development finance institutions which committed to the fund in time for its first close. These include the European Investment Bank, Proparco, SIFEM and BIO. Incofin Investment Management itself, along with Volksvermogen and ACV-CSC Metea have also made commitments to the fund.