XSML announces investment in Galaxy to expand retail distribution in Congo-Kinshasa

Today, XSML, the fund manager active in Central & East Africa, announced its investment in Maison Galaxy sarl (Galaxy), a retail chain based in Kinshasa, DRC, known for its Shaina and Galaxy branded stores.

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 16 June 2017

Galaxy has been successful in tapping into the increasing demand for cosmetic and other popular consumer products in DRC. The investment helps Galaxy to expand its distribution network by enabling the opening of several new stores.

Galaxy was founded in 2014 and operates eight stores in Kinshasa, Goma, Katanga and Kisangani. The Managing Director of Galaxy, Ashiq Adatia, is in process of merging Galaxy with its sister chain Shayna, which is also focused on cosmetics and general products and operates ten stores in Kinshasa and other locations in DRC.

According to Ashiq Adatia: “With the financing provided by the African Rivers Fund, Galaxy is setting up three new stores and increase our stocks, a step change in our expansion.”

Marcel Posthuma, Managing Partner at XSML says: “The urban population of Kinshasa is looking for affordable beauty and other consumer products.  Galaxy has a reputation on this front and now operates eight stores.  It is the first larger retail chain of its kind, bringing affordable products to the population”

Galaxy, is one of ARFs fifteen investments since first close of the fund in February 2016. The African Rivers Fund (ARF) is XSMLs second fund, after having fully invested its maiden fund, the Central Africa SME Fund (CASF) in the period 2012-2015. As its predecessor, ARF targets growing, well-managed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Central & East African region covering Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and Republic of Congo as well as – over time – Burundi. The fund is named after the two most powerful rivers in Africa, the Congo and Nile Rivers, which embody the potential of the Central & East African region.

XSML believes that sustainable economic development in fast growing markets as the DRC and Uganda can be achieved by encouraging local entrepreneurship. Currently, many opportunities in these countries remain unexploited due to the lack of risk capital and support. By stimulating entrepreneurship, jobs and income are created. The African Rivers Fund continues CASF’s strategy with investments in between USD 100,000 and USD 5 million. Between the two funds XSML has provided technical assistance to some 28 companies to help them improve their operations and skills.  Evidence of further impact can be found in various fields, with over 500 jobs created since 2011, over 4,000 additional pupils spread over three private schools and the addition of some 40 hospital beds, an operating theatre and maternity rooms in a clinic in Kinshasa, improving healthcare standards. All three investors in CASF (IFC, FMO and Lundin) were joined by Bio, CDC, DGGF, and Proparco for ARF.

About Galaxy

Galaxy is a retail chain specialised in cosmetics and other consumer products, founded by Ashiq Adatia in 2014, and operating eight stores.

About XSML

Although international investors show an increasing interest in emerging markets, the demand for finance from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) remains largely untapped.

XSML, eXtra Small Medium Large, founded in 2008, bridges this gap by investing in small businesses to help them grow into medium and large enterprises.  XSML manages two funds with a focus on frontier markets in Central and East Africa: the Central Africa SME Fund and the African Rivers Fund. Local teams of 14 investment and operating professionals have experience in emerging and frontier markets in private equity, corporate and development banking and corporate restructuring with offices in Kinshasa (DRC), Kampala (Uganda) and Bangui (CAR).


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