CategoryBusiness overview

Helping farmers by investing in the supply chain

Every year at Sankalp Africa and countless other conferences the big NGOs, governments, and other institutions talk about helping smallholder farmers. The story rarely changes. Post-harvest losses. Low yields. More and better training. At Africa Eats, we think there is a better, far more efficient solution to these problems. Rather than funding and training farmers, we invest in and support the...

Historic and Future Revenues – 2014-2020

Aggregate revenues across the Africa Eats portfolio companies for 2020 came in at $9.9 million, up from $7 million in 2019, more than double the $4.6 million from 2018, a sixteen-fold increase from the $600,000 in 2014. Actual Aggregate Revenues 2014-2020 $9.9 million was over $1 million above our projections for 2020, as reported seven months ago in our first public post sharing revenues. Why...

The path to a public holding company

One goal for Africa Eats is to be a public company, listed on a major world stock market. The sub-goal on the way there is to be a public company listed on one or more African stock markets. Why go public? A few reasons. First and foremost, because before investors invest they want to see a clear way to get their money back. For equity investors in private companies, that path is either an...

Capital Efficiency

Most early-stage and growth-stage startup investors focus on valuation, and the question of whether the investee’s valuation can grow by an order of magnitude or more in the next decade. At Africa Eats, we do look at that, but we focus even more on how efficient our investees are with the money we provide them. How efficient is their use of capital? Specifically, we compute a simple ratio...

Step 3 is a Truck

How do you get from problem to solution to profitable company in Africa? Like everywhere else, it’s complicated, but the third step is simple. Step 1, find a problem and develop a solution that customers will pay for. For Africa Eats, that problem is most often two sided, lack of demand by smallholder farmers and lack of supply by formal and informal restaurants and retailers. Step 2...

Hunger, Poverty, and Finance — SDGs 2, 1, and 0

Africa Eats is tackling three big problems outlined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically: #2 Hunger, #1 Poverty, and an unstated #0 Finance. The first two should be obvious given the food & agriculture focus of Africa Eats, but to be explicit: #2 Hunger Not every African is able to eat three meals per day. Not every African receives all the nutrition...

Debt repayable as Equity

Africa Eats is an investment holding company with numerous operational and financial innovations. Of the latter is our novel form of loans repayable with equity. Typical early-stage and growth-stage investors focus on building a portfolio of equity investments or they provide debt, not both. What is different about Africa Eats is that we intend to own our investees forever. We thus focuses on...

Holdco, the better investment structure

Africa Eats is not yet a year old, but the choice of holdco is already showing its benefits over a traditional venture capital fund. Did you know the first-ever modern venture capital “fund” was not a fund, but a public holding company?  American Research and Development.  Boston.  1946. The reason the limited partnership structure became the norm is that the founders of ARD...

Too many investment opportunities

With rare exception,investment funds begin life with capital to invest, an area of interest, and fresh dealflow. Africa Eats is exceptional. We instead began with a portfolio of investments, curated over eight years, and only a modicum of capital, far less than the growth needs of that portfolio. The first few months of Africa Eats has thus been about having the new members of the headquarters...

Bizi

Africa Eats is a holding company that begins with 27 investees. That is accurate, but “investee” isn’t the right word. That word misses the relationships we’ve build with these companies over the past six years through their participate at and after a Fledge accelerator. Africa Eats is a holding company with 27 subsidiaries. No, that isn’t right either. Subsidiary...

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