Sanari reaches R1.25 billion (US$65mn) in second close for growth fund with PIC, Alexforbes as new investors 

Johannesburg, 5 October 2023 - Sanari Capital, a women-led and majority Black- and women-owned South African private equity firm, has successfully raised R1.25 billion (approximately $65 million) for its growth fund. The fund is poised to play a pivotal role in fuelling employment opportunities and fostering economic growth in South Africa and across the African continent. 

This marks the second closing for the Sanari 3S Growth Fund as the firm edges closer to its goal of reaching a final close equivalent of up to $100 million. 


New investors in this closing include the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), the largest asset manager on the African continent, and Alexforbes Investments, South Africa's leading and largest provider of multi-manager investment portfolios and related investment services in Southern Africa, with R450 billion in assets under management and administration. The PIC manages capital for the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), which is the largest pension fund in Africa. 


Sanari Capital's Chief Executive Officer, Samantha Pokroy, says: "We are delighted to have raised capital from such highly regarded financial institutions, both of which share our commitment to achieving a balance between financial and socio-economic benefits. This funding will play a pivotal role in addressing structural economic imbalances, promoting transformation, fostering economic growth, creating jobs, and delivering both environmental and financial returns." 


The addition of PIC and Alexforbes complements Sanari Capital's existing investor base, which includes the 27four Black Business Growth Fund, Telkom Retirement Fund and the Motor Industry Retirement Funds through the RisCura Manager Development Programme, and National Fund for Municipal Workers (NFMW). Pokroy added, “We are grateful for our investors’ continued support and the additional top-up allocation provided by NFMW, which underscores their confidence in our portfolio and pipeline.” 


Moushmi Patel, Executive Director at Sanari, highlights the transformative potential of this fund, saying: "This fund equips us with the financial capacity to invest in larger businesses than was previously possible, allowing us to extend the reach of our work with founder-run, owner-managed, and family-owned businesses across the mid-market. Additionally, we can back our investee companies for longer through their expansion and scaling. For example, we expect to continue backing our investment in Edulife Group, an affordable quality independent schools group in South Africa, where we have already grown the learner base from 1,000 to 3,000 students and a pipeline to double the business in the near term." 


Sanari Capital invests between R50 million and R250 million in well-established businesses at an inflection point, driven by technology, innovation, thematic or sectoral growth drivers, and new markets. Executive Director Ofentse Pelle notes: "We emphasise digital and human enablement to unlock business potential, focusing on sectors with growth prospects that are de-linked from local economic growth, whilst still backing local employers." 


Sanari's investment philosophy is centred on themes aligned with the ever-evolving global landscape, focusing on technology, a more interconnected digital world, IoT, data, and services. Moreover, in line with the growing global consciousness of social responsibility, Sanari strategically invests in sectors such as education, healthcare, food security, and eco-friendly solutions. Executive Director Sihle Gumede says: "One of our core strategic objectives is to encourage businesses to broaden their horizons, a concept we refer to as 'local to regional, Africa to the world.'" 


The capital invested by the fund qualifies as 100% black ownership in underlying portfolio companies, offering benefits over and above the firm's growth capital and value-adding support. Closely tied to the firm's diverse composition and commitment to being relevant players in the African market and on a global platform, the fund also aligns with the criteria for the 2X Challenge, promoting the mobilisation of resources to advance women's participation in international economic development and leadership. 


Sanari Capital's latest funding success represents a significant stride towards enhancing employment opportunities and catalysing economic growth in South Africa and across the African continent. As the fund embarks on the next phase of its journey, it promises to transform the business landscape and contribute to a more prosperous and inclusive future for all.
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