Silvertree marks investment of $15 million in Africa’s tech startups, appoints new board chairman

Cape Town-based Silvertree Internet Holdings has recently reached the milestone of over US $15 million (approximately ZAR 200 million) channeled into African consumer-focused technology companies since inception in 2014. The portfolio has achieved an average over 200% annual revenue growth, helped by fast-growing companies like car buying site carzar[dot]co[dot]za and meal-kit delivery company ucook[dot]co[dot]za.

To build on this success, Silvertree has now appointed of Freddy Caspers, former Reckitt Benckiser CEO of Emerging Markets, as non-executive Chairman of its board.

(TOP: Freddy Caspers, new non-executive chairman, Silvertree).

Mr 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.”

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 break even much earlier in their life-cycle.

Looking forward, Silvertree plans to invest over US $10 million (ZAR 130 million) 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.

Silvertree founder and MD 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 an operating and holding company for early and mid-stage tech businesses targeting African consumers. Silvertree incubates and invests into ventures, and focuses on execution of simple, proven business models. Based in Cape Town, the Silvertree portfolio includes ~15 companies from niche e-commerce (faithful-to-nature[dot]co[dot]za, cybercellar[dot]com, ucook[dot]co[dot]za, dealdey[dot]com), classifieds (carzar[dot]co[dot]za), comparison (pricecheck[dot]co[dot]za, compareguru[dot]co[dot]za), travel (ker-downeyafrica[dot]com) as well as digital service companies (sproutperformance[dot]com, humanvalue[dot]co[dot]za).

Before joining Silvertree as Chairman, Freddy drove more than US $20 billion of value creation as founding Executive Board Member of Reckitt Benckiser, one of the global players in the consumer and health care industry, serving as CEO of emerging markets for 16 years. He also works currently in Europe on large-cap deals as Senior Advisor for EQT, a global private equity firm. He is owner of a private equity investment vehicle holding various investments into small cap consumer goods, tech and healthcare ventures, mostly in Africa. His vision for Silvertree is to help transform economic growth across Africa by creating the leading internet-based brand portfolio powerhouse across the region.


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