Internet Holdings Silvertree has recently reached the milestone of over USD 15m (approx. ZAR 200m) channelled into African consumer-focused technology companies since inception in 2014. The portfolio has achieved an average >200% annual revenue growth, helped by fast-growing companies like car buying site carZar and meal-kit delivery company UCOOK.
To build on this success, Silvertree announced the appointment of Freddy Caspers as non-executive Chairman of the Board.
Caspers has been one of the core team members behind the phenomenal success of Reckitt Benckiser (RB), as executive board member and Chief Executive Officer of Emerging Markets. RB, a London-listed global Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company, owns brands including Durex, Dettol, Vanish and Finish. RB has been one of the biggest business success stories of the 2000s, building the ‘Apple of the FMCG industry’ and turning a provincial USD 1bn market capitalization business into a USD 75bn global giant in less than 10 years. Mr. Caspers as CEO of Emerging Markets (including Africa) grew sales from 1 to 8bn USD and profits 16 times while creating a shareholder value increase of over 20bn USD during his tenure and managing a portfolio of companies with sales in over 100 countries and 25,000 people.
Silvertree believes the biggest opportunities for tech investment in Africa are in businesses driven by strong teams that are executing simple, proven models. Furthermore, a focus on all three long-term value creation drivers Net Revenue growth, margins and cash allows the group’s operations to reach breakeven much earlier in their life-cycle.
Caspers said, “I have great ambitions for Silvertree: to build it into the most successful internet technology company across Africa. Similarly to my approach at RB, exceptional people with a performance driven culture and executional excellence will be key to our value creation to transform economic growth across the region.”
Looking forward, Silvertree plans to invest over USD 10m (ZAR 130M) in the next 12 months into new and existing portfolio companies that make use of technology to reach consumers, with a focus on growth stage and buy-out opportunities. Silvertree has a unique owner and operator approach with active and large investments and leverages best practices across their business portfolio as well as support from its global network.
Founder and Managing Director Allerstorfer added, “We want to partner with like-minded entrepreneurs looking to disrupt large and high margin industries in Africa. It is still day 1 of the Internet in Africa!”
Silvertree is also actively searching for great entrepreneurial talent to join the team of Silvertree and/or portfolio companies.