Celebrating 5 years of excellence

About the Awards

To celebrate the association’s 5th anniversary, EAVCA is delighted to bring the inaugural EAVCA Private Equity & Venture Capital Industry Awards. To celebrate 5 years of excellence, the awards will recognize the contribution of private equity & venture capital to the growth of the local industry.



East Africa Leadership Award

Paul Kavuma

WINNER: Paul Kavuma

Paul Kavuma is a veteran investor in East Africa having started his journey of private equity at Actis where he served as the Director for East Africa private equity in both London and Nairobi. He then set his sail and along with partners, launched Catalyst Fund I, a regional fund with US$125 million in management.

Beyond growing his fund's portfolio, Paul has been an active advocate of East Africa as an investment destination both locally and on the global stage. He provides insights on regional matters to industry platforms such as EMPEA and AVCA. He has also contributed in the shaping of policy in the region as demonstrated by his contribution in the development of Kenya's capital markets masterplan.

In 2018 Catalyst launched their second fund Catalyst Fund II closing at US$155million.

Other Nominees:
  • David Owino
  • Eline Blaauboer
  • Sheel Gill
  • Fred Murimi
  • Michael Turner

Woman Investor Award

Eline Blaauboer

WINNER: Eline Blaauboer

A renowned figure in the PE and VC industry in Africa, Eline is a familiar face to many. Still, she continues to evolve, perhaps as a reflection of the dynamism of the industry. Eline has been Managing Partner at TBL Mirror Fund, where she helped in setting the fund up, and with it, its operations in Nairobi. TBL was one of the early adopters of PE in Kenya and between 2006- 2017, invested in 9 companies in total.

At the end of 2014 Eline took on management of Safaricom Spark Fund as well, a $1m pilot corporate venture fund by Safaricom. She is currently serving as Co- Founder and Managing Partner of Africa Tech Ventures, a US$ 50 million VC fund that targets investments in the technology space in Africa. As one of the pioneer investors in East Africa, Eline helped in the formation of the EAVCA where she acted as Chairman until 2017.

She is also considered an industry mentor by many who have had the privilege of working with her.

Other Nominees:
  • Marieke Geurts
  • Sarah Ngamau
  • Victoria Fram
  • Runa Alam

Exit Award

Emerging Capital Partners

WINNER: Emerging Capital Partners

Over the course of ECP's investment, Java House was built into a regional champion with a strong institutional foundation that enabled shareholders to obtain substantial interest from financial and strategic buyers.

Java grew from 15 stores in 1 city at the time of ECP's investment to 61 stores across 10 cities and 3 countries at the time of ECP's exit. Java grew its new store roll-out capacity from 1 to 15 per year over the same period.

This growth was enabled by shareholders actively working with management to build the platform and position the company for rapid growth. ECP worked with the company to strengthen senior management and added industry experts to the board, including the former COO of Chili's Bar and Grill. ECP also introduced the finance and audit, operations and strategy, HR and marketing committees to the company. Java underwent big four audits every year of ECP's ownership and was noted by the KRA as a strong tax payer.

At the time of ECP's exit, Java contributed to around 2,000 direct jobs and provided above-average market wages and healthcare. Approximately half of the workforce consisted of women, who received paid maternity leave and flexible hours to accommodate childcare needs. Java contributed to increasing quality standards by becoming the first East African restaurant group to receive ISO 22000 certification for food safety.

The strength of the company built over the 5 years was demonstrated by the significant interest achieved on exit. ECP signed NDAs and engaged in conversations with more than 24 potential buyers during the exit process and received 11 term sheets. ECP subsequently narrowed the bidders 2 more times to receive 3 sets of fully documented offers. ECP signed and closed the transaction 2 months ahead of the Kenyan presidential elections and the retail downturn that occurred.

Other Nominees:
  • AIIM
  • DOB Equity
  • Catalyst Principal Partners
  • Centum Capital
  • AfricInvest

Legal Advisor Award

Anjarwalla & Khanna

WINNER: Anjarwalla & Khanna

Anjarwalla & Khanna (A&K) acted as lead counsel for Helios Investment Partners, a leading Africa-focused private investment firm, in connection with the disposal of its stake of 24.99% in Equity Group Holdings, a company listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the Uganda Stock Exchange and the Rwanda Stock Exchange. To date, Helios’ exit is the largest private equity exit successfully completed in sub-Saharan Africa.

Helios divested its shareholding, through a series of transactions with multiple buyers, including Norfund (12.25%), NSSF (5.58%), Genesis Investment Management (4.21%), NSSF Uganda (2.44%), amongst others, on-market and off-market sales. We had originally acted for Helios in connection with its acquisition of the 24.99% stake in Equity Group, which at the time was the largest private equity investment in Kenya.

This unprecedented transaction involved unique legal aspects, comprising of several stages, including the internal restructuring of Helios' shareholding in Equity Group, disposals of the shares to various buyers (on market and off-market), regulatory advice from a capital markets and listing perspective, regulatory advice under the Banking Act, capital gains tax and general tax advice, and assistance with structuring. As lead transaction counsel, A&K had to coordinate, instruct and manage local counsel in seven jurisdictions on all elements of the transaction, including Tanzania, Uganda, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Sudan and Cayman Islands and negotiate with the buyers' counsel and transaction advisors in various jurisdictions, including Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and the UK.

A&K has been providing a depth of expertise wherever clients need cross-border private equity legal advice, when buying and selling entities, acquiring minority investments and entering into joint ventures, we provide integrated cross-border advice, through our ALN network. We act for a range of local, pan-African and international funds as well as development institutions on their direct investments or consortium deals.

Other Nominees:
  • Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews
  • Iseme Kamau & Maema Advocates
  • Bowmans (Coulson Harney LLP)

Financial Advisor Award

KPMG Advisory Services Limited

WINNER: KPMG Advisory Services Limited

KPMG Advisory Services Limited has provided financial advisory services to over 250 clients in the period 2013 - 2018 and over 70 clients in 2018 (including private equity investors, strategic investors, Governments, banks, corporates) in 2018. Our unrivalled experience and knowledge in the East African market was displayed as we were able to provide the potential investors a detailed and balanced view of the potential investment with key risks, strengths, opportunities and threats highlighted.

KPMG Advisory Services Limited has provided financial advisory services to over 250 clients in the period 2013 - 2018 and over 70 clients in 2018 (including private equity investors, strategic investors, Governments, banks, corporates) in 2018. Our unrivalled experience and knowledge in the East African market was displayed as we were able to provide the potential investors a detailed and balanced view of the potential investment with key risks, strengths, opportunities and threats highlighted.

The services were offered to the following sectors:

  • Financial services industry
  • Fast Moving Consumer Goods - FMCG
  • Consumables Industrial Markets - CIM
  • Technology Media & Telecommunication -TMT
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Infrastructure
  • Hospitality and
  • Agriculture 

Furthermore, in 2018, KPMG provided its clients with services across 6 East African countries namely; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Djibouti.  We have a strong track record having being involved in some of the most notable publicly disclosed deals of 2018 including:

  1. TPG Rise fund's successful acquisition of a stake in Cellulant, (USD 47.5mn)
  2. Carlyle Group's successful acquisition of a stake in Abacus Pharmaceuticals, (value not disclosed)
  3. Brenntag AG's successful acquisition of DESBRO Group (Nairobi, Kenya), (EUR 30.2 million)
  4. Tide Africa's successful acquisition of  a stake in Twiga Foods (Nairobi, Kenya), (USD 10.0 million)
  5. Inchcape PLC's successful takeover of RMA Motors Kenya, among others. (value not disclosed)

Some of the more notable publicly disclosed deals between 2013 and 2018 include:

  1. ECP's acquisition of a stake in Java
  2. Hass's Petroleum's divesture 

We focus on value and any professional advice is only as good as its people. The team has effectively blended the necessary local insight and international experience and skills to ensure the execution of all projects with a high attention to detail and in record timing.

Other Nominees:
  • Investbridge Capital
  • Genghis Capital Limited
  • CrossBoundary Advisory
  • Horizon Africa Capital Ltd.
  • I&M Burbidge Capital
  • PwC Kenya

Impact Investment Firm Award

DOB Equity


DOB Equity is a Dutch family backed investment firm. DOB invests early stage and growth capital in impactful East African companies with innovative and scalable business models, led by strong management teams.

DOB was amongst the first investors in M-Kopa, Bridge International Academies, Twiga Foods and Copia, all companies that have demonstrated scale and impact.

Other Nominees:
  • AHL Venture Partners
  • Incofin Investment Management
  • VilCap Investments
  • Energy Access Ventures

Large Cap Deal Award (> $50M)


WINNER: AfricInvest

Year of Investment: 2018

Britam Holdings Limited is a leading diversified financial services group listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange with operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Mozambique and Malawi. The Group offers a wide range of financial services including life, general and medical insurance, asset management, property and banking services through affiliates. The Group has over 750 employees across East Africa and about 3,000 financial advisers in Kenya. In 2017, the Group won the Association of Kenya Insurers Agent of the Year Award for the 10th consecutive year.

The Group continues to execute its for Gold strategy which is anchored on key tenets "pursuing profitable growth by becoming the market leader in all its chosen markets, enhancing customer service by providing a one-stop shop and a seamless experience for clients via 24-hour Contact Centers and leveraging best-in class Customer Relationship Management systems and developing an IT ecosystem that supports a digital enterprise".

AfricInvest led a consortium with DEG, FMO and Proparco, to invest KES 5.7bn in 2018 to support Britam's strategy which includes increased digitalization, new product development and further consolidation of its presence in the region.

AfricInvest has extensive experience in directly investing in insurance groups such as UAP Holdings (East Africa), Mansard Insurance (Nigeria), GAT (Tunisia) and UAB (Burkina Faso), monitoring such investments through Board and sub-committees, and adding tangible value to these investments as well as successfully exiting such investments.

AfricInvest, in partnership with its other consortium members, is looking to support Britam in execution of its strategy, including developing innovative insurance products and improving standards of service, sharing the experience and network of experts for building solid micro insurance and bancassurance businesses and build the Group’s network of partners through the wide network of AfricInvest as well those of the Consortium members.

Other Nominees:
  • Helios Investment Partners
  • Maris Africa
  • Emerging Capital Partners

Mid Cap Deal Award ($10M - $50M)

Catalyst Principal Partners

WINNER: Catalyst Principal Partners

In 2018, Catalyst Principal Partners, through a Mauritian SPV, Catalyst Mattress Africa Ltd created the largest mattress manufacturing operation in East Africa by acquiring and consolidating three market leading, independent, family-owned, polyurethane foam and spring mattress businesses in 3 different countries. These were Superfoam in Kenya, Vitafoam in Malawi and Euroflex in Uganda. With an investment of c.$22m, Catalyst concluded the largest, true platform transaction in Eastern Africa and will be the majority shareholder.

The structure of the transaction involved amalgamating ownership of the separately owned operating companies (through a combination of share acquisitions and share subscriptions) under a newly created holding company in Mauritius, Mammoth Foam Africa, with some sponsors exiting and others swapping their shares in each operating company for shares in the holding company. The deal structure was bespoke and multi-jurisdictional (4 countries), requiring navigation of differing and dynamic tax, legal and regulatory regimes, as well as, differing sponsor requirements and transparent valuation mechanics in order to create a structure with a simultaneous closing and rollup of each acquired business into Mammoth Foam Africa.

The transaction was notified to, and has the approval of, the Competition Authority of Kenya and the COMESA Competition Commission.

The newly created Mammoth Foam Africa will benefit from the long-standing brand heritage of the three target entities, synergy in management, systems & processes and bulk procurement, while growth will be achieved through increased production and improvement in operational efficiency. The new group will immediately have turnover of c.$45m and will sell its products to 7 countries in COMESA which would not be feasible to serve from one operation alone due to prohibitive transportation costs as mattresses are bulky.

The deal is significant as Catalyst begins investing our second fund raised in 2017, focusing on mid-market growth capital projects in Eastern Africa.

Other Nominees:
  • Centum Investments Company Plc
  • Ethos Mezzanine Partners
  • AfricInvest

Small Cap Deal Award (up to $10M)

DOB Equity


The Twiga Foods platform uses mobile phone technology to match supply and demand, aggregating market participants and finding buyers for farmers’ produce in Africa's large, but highly fragmented fruit and vegetable market. Twiga's m-commerce platform enables vendors to order fresh produce, as and when needed, from farmers across Kenya.

The system is a win for both sides farmers have guaranteed access to a fairly priced, transparent, mobile marketplace while vendors can consistently source high-quality produce, which is conveniently delivered for free to their doorstep by Twiga. By increasing efficiency in the supply chain, Twiga is able to reduce waste and ultimately reduce food prices for end consumers.

Other Nominees:
  • Consonance Investment Managers
  • KIBO capital Partners (KCP)
  • Maris Africa
  • Energy Access Ventures