CategoryBusiness overview

Building a Warren Buffett-like holdco for food/ag in Africa

A conversation with Luni Libes, serial entrepreneur and investor, about the enormous opportunities of African food companies and on buying from smallholder farmers and selling into the local regional markets. We also discuss why the traditional venture capital model doesn’t make any sense and a holding company does, plus why and how he wants to take the holding company public in a few years’ time...

The 2022 Report

The biggest learning from 2022 is that the plan envisioned in 2018 works. In 2018, the vision was an investment holding company that helps high growth food/ag-focused SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) in Africa grow faster than traditional venture capital or debt funds. The core of the plan was to fill in the “missing middle” of capital for a few dozen companies, providing them the...

The Recipe

Africa Eats’ recipe is one cup venture capital fund, one cup business accelerator, and two heaping teaspoons of Berkshire Hathaway.  Add in two dozen fast-growing, homegrown, bottom-up for-profit solutions to hunger and poverty across Africa.  Stir vigorously.  Feeds billions. This isn’t some old family recipe. Neither is it the common way these things are done. But after looking at all the...

$11.6 million in six months!

The six months of 2022 continues the revenue growth we’re used to at Africa Eats. An aggregate of $11.6 million was earned by our portfolio companies, putting them on track to reach $24M-$25M for the whole year. To put this in some perspective, when we launched Africa Eats back in 2020 we were touting a total of $6.7 million in revenues in 2019. The same portfolio earned that just in Q2...

Over 100,000 smallholder farmers

The bizi of Africa Eats work with over 100,000 smallholder farmers, buying their outputs or providing their inputs. In either case, growing the incomes of these farmers between 40% and 500%, turning a typically subsistence activity into a middle class income. Growing this network above 100,000 took quite some time, as there needs to be a buyer for every piece of fruit, bag of maize flour, or...

Follow the Opportunity

Africa Eats funds and supports for-profit solutions to hunger and poverty. We are capitalists, not philanthropists. But unlike most capitalists, we don’t hide from risk, seeking the safest returns, but instead follow the opportunities where few others are investing, seeking the biggest opportunities for growth and thus the biggest opportunities for returns. That is why we focus on food...

$100,000 –> $250,000 –> $1 million

Africa Eats may only have been around since 2020, but 14 of our portfolio companies have been operating since at least 2016. What is amazing to see is the growth of these companies. We’ve previously touted their growth in terms of aggregate revenues. Today let’s instead look at their growth in terms of individual scale, dividing them up by those above $250,000 in annual revenues (USD...

Valuation

How do you value a portfolio of young, fast-growing, private companies? One at a time. There are a multitude of valuation methodologies for public companies, most of which do not work for companies with 50%+ annual growth, nor for any company that is plowing profits back into the company to keep up or speed up that growth rate. Investopedia has a good primer on valuation. Africa Eats uses a...

Bottom up

There are two ways to solve the biggest problems of the world (like hunger and poverty): top-down and bottom-up. Governments, foundations, and most investors take the top-down approach. They look at a region like Africa, declare is “undeveloped” and bring to it solutions they’ve seen elsewhere, which may or may not actually solve the problems. Africa Eats uses a very different...

New Year, New Map (2022)

2022 begins the third calendar year of operations for Africa Eats. One unique aspect of the investment holding company is that it included a portfolio of companies from Day 1. Despite the pandemic we not only didn’t have any failures in these past two years but our entrepreneurs have grabbed new opportunities and spun-off or spin-up new companies, and we’ve added most of them to the...

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