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 acquisition or an IPO, and an IPO is the better and more prestigious of those “exits.”
Thus in Africa’s Eats’ plans, we aim to be public ASAP so we eliminate that risk investors are taking.
Secondly, by making investments liquid, we separate the needs of the investors from the needs of our investees. Our subsidiaries have capital needs for the growth of their companies, and those needs do not always match the timing of the investors’ needs.
Liquid shares fix that problem. Old investors can leave when they need to, while new investors take their place, all while investees go about operating and growing their businesses.
Thirdly, it is easier to raise money as a public company. Most investors limit their investments to companies listed on stock exchanges. Our plans at Africa Eats grow past $100 million in aggregate revenues within the 2020s.
But that is our baseline goal. There is a sufficient opportunity across Africa to grow to be a $1+ billion company by 2029, and it is a lot easier to do that as a public company than a private company.
We thus remain convinced this holding company model is best to do that.