CategoryWhite papers

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...

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...

Agribusiness in unprecedented times

KPMG and AGRA have published an outlook on Agribusiness in Africa based on data and conversations with 137 companies across Africa. This a great overview of the challenges that face the agriculture sector in Africa, both in general plus the added issues created by the pandemic. The report includes 10 priorities. Half of these are related to financing. Africa Eats address most of these directly...

Why a Holding Company?

The current status quo will see Africa’s economy grow but is unlikely to see the continent be self sustaining in terms of food as the population doubles by mid-Century. The food gap today exceeds $10 billion annually,even with 80% of Africans farming the land. And despite more and more funds, families, and foundations investing in Africa, the missing middle of capital (i.e. the gap in capital...

A Health and Hunger Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic brings more than a healthcare crisis to Africa, it brings disruptions to the food supply chain that will likely cause widespread hunger and starvation. The food system is already far from ideal, with (at least) 40% of that food never being eaten due to post-harvest losses (Rockefeller Foundation studies). Adding to these issues are the friction of closed borders...

The Hunger Pandemic

While COVID-19 is dominating headlines, another kind of emergency is threatening the lives of millions of people around the world—food insecurity. The two are very much intertwined, however. By the end of 2020, authorities estimate that upwards of 265 million people could be on the brink of starvation globally, almost double the current rate of crisis-level food insecurity. The above...

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