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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...

Reliable, 100% Renewable Electricity

A common issue facing processing and manufacturing companies in Africa is the lack of reliable electricity. Time and money are lost every time the power goes out. Food is spoiled. Growth is held back. Here in the 2020s solar is now an affordable solution. Specifically battery-backed solar, running 24hrs on solar power with the grid used only as a backup. That may sound expensive, but given the...

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...

Investments #2, #3, #4, #5, and #6

We’ve previously talked about having too many investment opportunities. That is still true despite making five more investments this week. #2 – Essential Bean by Kalahari Honey We said our top priority for investing was to mitigate hunger and the most direct and impactful opportunities we’ve seen is Essential Bean, a new subsidiary of Kalahari Honey in Botswana. Botswana closed...

Investment #1

We’ve previously talked about having too many investment opportunities. That is true. But that didn’t stop us from making our first investment. #1 – Agro Supply Urgency drove a loan to Agro Supply. The company sells seeds and other agricultural inputs to over 7,000 Ugandan farmers. Trouble is, the company needs to pay the seed company upon pick-up, but doesn’t get paid by...

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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