Press release

In its second investment in Africa, The Rise Fund buys stake in leading, Botswana-based ecotourism operator, Wilderness Holdings

SAN FRANCISCO AND GABORONE  – July 12th 2018 – The  Rise Fund, a global investment fund committed to achieving measurable social  and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns, today  announced its second investment in Africa in Botswana-born Wilderness Holdings,  Ltd., a leading ecotourism group with operations in seven African countries.  The Rise Fund is acquiring a 34% stake in Wilderness.

Said Wilderness Holdings CEO,  Keith Vincent, “Wilderness has always been dedicated to a purpose-driven  approach based on our 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture  and Conservation; offering our guests life-changing journeys with a ‘purpose.’  We welcome our newest shareholder, The Rise Fund, and are proud to be standing  shoulder to shoulder with such like-minded individuals. As a company proudly  born and bred in Botswana 35 years ago, we are even more committed to our  founding vision than ever before: to conserve and restore Africa’s wilderness  and wildlife by creating life-changing journeys and inspiring positive action.”

Founded in 1983, Wilderness Holdings’  mission is to conserve and restore African wilderness and wildlife through  ecotourism. Wilderness established its first permanent safari camps in Botswana  in 1985 and has since expanded across sub-Saharan Africa, where it provides  premier environmentally sustainable ecotourism experiences. At the same time,  Wilderness supports the conservation of six million acres of protected land,  home to several endangered and at-risk species like the black rhino and  mountain gorilla. Wilderness has also initiated programs to reintroduce some  threatened animals back into their former range areas, as well as rehabilitate  existing natural environments through dedicated management programs. Wilderness  works closely with local community leaders and drives local economic growth by  creating stable, well-paying jobs in the communities where it operates.

“We are excited about our  partnership with Wilderness Holdings, a great example of Botswana’s  entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Bill McGlashan, Co-Founder and CEO of The Rise  Fund and Founder and Managing Partner of TPG Growth. “This is a great  opportunity to partner with an important Africa-grown company to help them  expand their business while building on their long track-record and history of  sustainability and environmental and social impact across the continent.”

“This investment marks a  major milestone in the relationship we have built with Wilderness Holdings.  Keith and his leadership team ranks as one of the very strongest in Africa, and  Wilderness Holdings has the potential to create significant environmental and  economic impact on the continent,” said Mike Stone, Chief Investment Officer of  The Rise Fund. “The prospect of helping this business grow is a thrilling one  for all of us at The Rise Fund, and looking ahead we see immense potential in  partnering with entrepreneurs across Africa.”

“Wilderness has helped people  around the world discover Africa in an environment dedicated to conservation  and protection of endangered species,” said Yemi Lalude, Managing Partner at  TPG in Africa. “We look forward to ushering in a new era of growth with the  company and, in doing so, helping them expand their commitment to  conservation.”

Wilderness Holdings has a  100% subsidiary, Wilderness Air, an airline specializing in transportation to  remote areas. Wilderness Holdings also founded and continues to support two  nonprofit trusts focused on conservation and community empowerment: Wilderness  Wildlife Trust, which supports research, conservation, community empowerment,  and anti-poaching initiatives, and Children in the Wilderness, an environmental  education and youth development program for local children living in the areas  adjacent to the wildlife areas where Wilderness camps are situated.

Earlier in 2018, The Rise  Fund made its first investment in Africa, in Kenyan digital payments company  Cellulant. Closing at $2.1 billion in commitments in less than a year, The Rise  Fund, managed by TPG Growth, is recognized as the largest private impact fund  ever raised. Its investments to date include India-based dairy company Dodla  Dairy, energy-efficient oven manufacturer Brava Home, and education companies  EverFi (US) and Digital House (Latin America), all of which, like Wilderness,  generate positive social or environmental impact as a result of their core  business model. The Rise Fund’s investment strategy is to drive quantifiable  impact outcomes aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs), alongside competitive financial returns.

The Rise Fund will be represented  in due course on Wilderness Holdings’ board by Yemi Lalude and Jide Olanrewaju.

About Wilderness Holdings 
Listed on the Botswana and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges, Wilderness  Holdings is a group of responsible ecotourism companies, such as Wilderness  Safaris and Governors’ Camp Collection, that together use responsible tourism  to build sustainable conservation economies in Africa. Wilderness  Safaris and the Governors’  Camp Collection operate camps and safaris in some of Africa’s best wildlife and  wilderness areas across seven different countries: Botswana, Kenya, Namibia,  Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Recognising that conservation is as  much about people as about the environment, the company has pursued important  goals by supporting its non-profit partners, Children  in the Wilderness and the Wilderness  Wildlife Trust, which have helped change the face of nature-based tourism in southern  Africa. For more information, visit

About The Rise Fund
The Rise Fund is the world’s  largest global fund committed to achieving measurable, positive social and  environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns — what we call  “complete returns.” The Rise Fund is managed by TPG Growth, the global growth  equity and middle market buyout platform of alternative asset firm TPG. The  Rise Fund is led by a group of influential thought leaders with a deep personal  and professional commitment to driving social and environmental progress. The  board includes: Bill McGlashan, TPG Growth Founder and Managing partner; Bono,  Jeff Skoll, Mo Ibrahim, Laurene Powell Jobs, Anand Mahindra and Pierre Omidyar.  The Rise Fund’s objectives align with the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.  The Rise Fund invests in education, energy, food and agriculture, financial  services, growth infrastructure, healthcare, and technology, media, and  telecommunications companies that deliver complete returns. For more information,  visit

About TPG Growth
TPG Growth is the middle  market and growth equity investment platform of TPG, the global private  investment firm. With approximately $13.5 billion of assets under management,  TPG Growth targets investments in a broad range of industries and geographies.  TPG Growth has the deep sector knowledge, operational resources, and global  experience to drive value creation, and help companies reach their full  potential. The firm is backed by the resources of TPG, which has more than $73  billion of assets under management. For more information, visit

Media contacts:


The Rise Fund (US)
Frank Thomas
+1 212 601 4711


Portland (UK/Africa)
Bridget Nurre Jennions
+44 20 7554 1704

Wilderness Holdings
Tarryn Gibson
+27 11 257 5241


Hotwire PRC (Botswana)
Kabelo Binns or Taazima Kala-Essack
+267 3923579