Today, Dutch fund manager XSML announced its investment in Rehoboth SARL. Rehoboth is a supermarket and bakery based in Boma, DRC. This investment, through XSML’s Central Africa SME Fund (CASF), is long term capital, which enables Rehoboth to finance the purchase of a building for their supermarket and new bakery.
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
The investment will contribute to the expansion of the floor space for the supermarket as well as the start of modern bakery at the same premises. The retail market in Boma is highly fragmented with mainly small shops offering limited choice and often lacking fresh produce.
Boma is a port city at the end of the Congo river, providing crucial port facilities for Bas-Congo and DRC’s capital Kinshasa. As Boma is expanding rapidly due to increased activity in the port, the population has an increased need for staple foods and basic food supplies. Rehoboth will open the first bakery in Boma that bakes with modern technology and that will offer standard quality of bread and patisserie products.
The Managing Director of Rehoboth, Mr. Malonda states: “With the financing provided by the Central Africa SME Fund, Rehoboth is now able to purchase a larger building and the necessary equipment to start a modern industrial bakery, here in Boma. Boma has been expanding rapidly, but this has led to a lack of capacity in local bread production. Our bakery will serve as the main bakery for Boma and surrounding villages, providing essential staple foods to the population.”
Marcel Posthuma, Managing Partner at XSML says: “Given the increasing activities in the harbor in Boma and the lack of local basic quality food products , we expect demand for those products to increase significantly. Rehoboth will position itself as the first modern supermarket and bakery in Boma. CASF supports established local entrepreneurs like Rehoboth and aims to provide Boma and the Bas Congo province with a modern supermarket offering.”
Rehoboth is the fourteenth investment made by CASF and its eleventh investment in DRC. CASF is an investment fund investing in small and medium-sized enterprises in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. The fund is based on the belief that sustainable economic development in the fast growing markets of DRC and CAR can be achieved by encouraging entrepreneurship. Currently, many opportunities in these countries remain unexploited due to the lack of risk capital and support. By stimulating entrepreneurial endeavors jobs and income are created. CASF is a USD 19m fund with 80% allocation to DRC and 20% in CAR. CASF provides risk capital with an investment size ranging from USD 100,000 to a maximum of USD 500,000. Investors in CASF are IFC, FMO and the Lundin Foundation.
About Rehoboth SARL
Rehoboth is a supermarket located in Boma, Bas-Congo DRC. Rehoboth provides Boma with grocery, electronics, personal hygiene products and clothing aimed at the low- and middle class of Boma. Rehoboth distinguishes itself by offering a wide range of products including a large fresh fruits and vegetable section. Rehoboth also includes a restaurant that serves local Congolese cuisine. The new bakery will provide the population of Boma with essential daily staple foods like bread and other bakery products that are currently purchased from Kinshasa.
XSML is an independent investment fund manager with a focus on frontier markets. While building and managing funds for these markets, XSML, eXtra Small Medium Large, aims to help grow small businesses into medium and large enterprises. XSML was founded in 2008. The managing partners have an extensive background in emerging markets in the areas of asset management, corporate and development banking and corporate restructuring. Our experience has shown that demand for finance from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) remains largely untapped despite increased interest in frontier markets from international investors. XSML bridges this gap between international investors and SMEs in these markets.