Tech venture capital firm Silvertree Internet Holding has appointed former Reckitt Benckiser executive, Freddy Caspers, as chairman of the group as it looks to ramp up investment in 2017.
Silvertree said it has recently reached the milestone of over $15 million (R200 million) channeled 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.co.za, and meal-kit delivery company ucook.co.za, it said.
Silvertree said that a focus on three long-term value creation drivers – net revenue growth, margins and cash – enables the group’s operations to reach break-even much earlier in their life-cycle.
Caspers was previously one of the core team members behind Reckitt Benckiser, a London-listed fast-moving consumer goods company, serving as executive board member and CEO of emerging markets.
He also currently works in Europe on large-cap deals as senior advisor for private equity firm, EQT. He is owner of a private equity investment vehicle holding various investments into small cap consumer goods, tech and healthcare ventures, mostly in Africa.
Looking forward, Silvertree plans to invest over $10 million (R130 million) in the next 12 months into a new and existing portfolio of companies that make use of technology to reach consumers, with a focus on growth stage and buy-out opportunities.
Based in Cape Town, the Silvertree portfolio includes 15 companies like Cybercellar.com, Pricecheck.co.za, and Compareguru.co.za.