Emerging and Growth Markets | March 12, 2024

XSML raises nearly $100 million to invest in African small and mid-sized businesses

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

Amsterdam-based XSML invests in growing African businesses providing basic consumer goods and services in less-invested markets like Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For its fourth African Rivers Fund, it inked $98.7 million from the International Finance Corp., development finance institutions FMO, BII, Nordfund and Swedfund, as well as a fund managed by ResponsAbility.

The fund will cut checks of up to $3 million in 50 growth-stage businesses.

XSML has a target of $135 million for the fund.

XSML was started 15 years ago by former executives of Dutch development bank FMO. Through three funds, it has invested $145 million in more than 70 African businesses through a mix of debt, equity and mezzanine finance.

Portfolio companies include Kinshasa-based printing company Quick Print, Congolese hair and beauty brand Zuri Luxury, and Ugandan healthcare provider TMR Hospital. With its fourth fund, XSML is planning to open a new office in Zambia.