Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (“SEAF”) announced today that the fund it manages in Georgia, the Georgia Regional Development Fund (the “Fund”), has invested in Ritseula Hesi, a small hydropower plant operator in the western Racha state in Georgia. The Fund’s USD 3 million investment in the plant will facilitate the Company’s capacity growth from four megawatt hours to fourteen. Including this new investment, the Fund has invested over USD 32 million in 14 growth-oriented SMEs across Georgia.
Ritseula Hesi operates a small hydropower plant on the Ritseula River in Georgia’s Racha region. The Fund’s investment will allow the Company to add significant equipment and turbines, thereby supporting the expansion of the company’s energy output. In addition to increasing access to alternative energy in the region and reducing the country’s reliance on imported energy sources, the investment will bolster internal and supplier based employment in this rural area of Georgia.
Commenting on the new investment, SEAFs Co-Founder and Chairman Mr. Bert van der Vaart stated: “We are delighted to partner with Ritseula on their well-thought out expansion project. Ritseula has a proven track record in developing hydroelectric power and deep understanding of delivery. We believe that generating clean local energy is a fundamental component of any emerging economy. The growth of this company should have a measurable positive impact on its community and Georgia as a whole.”
SEAF is a global fund management group specializing in providing growth capital and business support to growth-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., SEAF manages private equity funds in these markets through a network of 21 offices around the world. For over two decades, SEAF has supported the growth of SMEs through structured debt and equity risk capital and extensive post-investment business assistance. SEAF’s experience making nearly 340 investments in small businesses has allowed it to identify and invest in promising companies that deliver positive financial returns for its investors. With USD 609 million in committed capital since inception and 28 funds and investment vehicles historically, SEAF is a leader in SME investment in emerging markets.
About the Georgia Regional Development Fund
The Georgia Regional Development Fund is a risk capital investment fund that focuses on long-term growth-oriented investments in growing and dynamic SMEs in the Republic of Georgia. The Fund focuses on businesses operating outside the capital of Tbilisi and those operating in agribusiness and tourism – two sectors with significant growth potential in the country. The Fund was established by Millennium Challenge Georgia (MCG), a Georgian government agency sponsored through a Compact with the United States Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which has provided it with funding to promote private sector development and poverty alleviation in the country. To date, the Fund has invested more than USD 32 million in 14 growth-oriented SMEs across Georgia.