US firm Horizon Capital has closed the largest private equity fund raised for Ukraine in a decade. The Emerging Europe Growth Fund III (EEGF III) will primarily invest in fast-growing, export-oriented companies that can leverage Ukraine’s cost-competitive platform to generate global revenues.
On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, and in the presence of top international CEOs and the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Horizon Capital announced that it had reached the $200 million ((€175 million) hard cap for its third Ukraine-focused fund.
“When we began fundraising, we set a target of $150 million and many told us it was not possible. We first reached our target and then exceeded it, achieving the maximum set by our investors,” said Lenna Koszarny, Horizon Capital’s founding partner and CEO, adding that interest was so high the firm had to turn away additional commitments.
Horizon Capital is Ukraine’s leading private equity firm. It manages more than $850 million in assets and has invested over $650 million in 140 businesses in Ukraine and the near region.
“Our fundraising success should send a strong signal that Ukraine offers tremendous rewards to those willing to look past the headlines,” said Koszarny.
The latest fund, EEGF III, was launched with an anchor commitment from the Western NIS Enterprise Fund. It attracted investments from institutions such as the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), German Investment Corporation (DEG) and International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as foundations and private investors. EEGF III enjoys strong backing from existing investors in Horizon’s funds, who contributed over 55 percent of total commitments.
According to Koszarny, investors look for net returns in excess of 20 percent on their investments in Ukraine. “Yes, there is frontier market risk in this country, but at the same time, if you get it right the rewards are much more significant than in Western markets.” Contrarian investors looking at Ukraine today understand the value opportunity that the country offers and are attracted by its talented people and solid growth trajectory. The country’s progress over these past four years has been truly impressive and has far exceeded what had been achieved previously since Ukraine’s independence.
EEGF III focuses primarily on export-oriented companies in the IT, light manufacturing, food and agricultural sectors, while also pursuing investments in high-growth domestic market segments. Investments will range from $5 million to $20 million and be made over the next 2-3 years.
“This fund is a testament to a new generation of ‘business heroes’ in Ukraine, visionary entrepreneurs leading high-growth export-oriented and domestic businesses,” said Koszarny.
Horizon Capital was founded
Assets under management
Capital base of investors backing Horizon Capital’s latest $200 million fund
Employees in the 140 companies in which Horizon Capital’s funds have invested