Vakıf Venture Capital Investment Trust was established in 1996 by Vakıfbank of Turkey, as a first of its kind in the country. Its overarching aim was to channel capital and management know-how to high growth companies with a competitive edge in their quest to sustain and develop projects that contribute to Turkey’s economy. Vakıf VCIT sought to achieve this goal by allocating its collective resources and by benefiting from the wide array of experiences, backgrounds and know-how of its investment professionals. Vakıf VCIT, which also sought to increase shareholder value by acting as a role model for its portfolio companies through institutionalization and effective portfolio management, was thus registered under the name Vakif Risk Capital Investment Inc.
The initial paid-in capital of TL 250,000 was increased in May 2000 through an IPO to TL 500,000, and to TL 900,000 in January 2001. In accordance with changes in SPK regulation, the name of the company was subsequently changed to Vakıf Venture Capital Investment Trust Inc. in 5 July 2004.
Over its lifetime as a Vakıfbank affiliate, Vakıf VCIT bid for over 600 projects and invested in 3 companies which were all exited during 2007 and 2008. In parallel with Vakıfbank’s shift in strategy, the company’s controlling shares were later awarded to Rhea Group following a competitive bidding process, and the shareholder transfer agreement of 18 July 2009 was ratified by SPK in 11 December 2009, rendering Rhea the sole controlling shareholder of Vakıf VCIT.
Having been instrumental in the creation of a brand new sector, Vakıf VCIT, the first venture capital investment trust in Turkey’s history, was renamed Rhea Private Equity Investment Trust Inc. in March 2010.
With 33% of its shares, amounting to all of the controlling shares, still owned solely by Rhea Group, Rhea VCIT continues to pursue a leadership position in the sector.