XSML invests in Robusta roasting facility

Today, Dutch fund manager XSML made an investment in a coffee roasting facility in the Central African Republic (CAR) through its Central Africa SME Fund (CASF). The investment in CaféGbako will enable the company to roast and sell quality coffee in CAR and its neighboring countries.


Bangui, Central African Republic

Coffee (Robusta) is an important export product of the CAR and its strong taste makes it particularly popular in Italy. But besides being exported, coffee is also in strong demand within the country and the region. Coffee is a relevant part of the local diet and is sold mainly in small quantities on local markets throughout the region. CaféGbako is a strong local brand, but the company currently outsources the roasting process to a former French facility with outdated equipment. This generates unreliable and poor quality roasts. CASF will invest in a new roasting facility for CaféGbako. The investment entails roasting equipment, the construction of a factory and a strategic stock of coffee beans for the first year of production.
Lucienne Maka Gbossokotto, Managing Director of CaféGbako states,  We are delighted to set up this new coffee roasting facility in the Central African Republic. Adding value to our own resources is an important step in the development of our country. In addition, we provide an excellent alternative to local farmers who we pre-finance and provide a stable, reliable source of income by purchasing their beans.

Jarl Heijstee, Managing Partner at XSML agrees and adds:  Besides the impact on the local smallholder farmers, CaféGbako is also tapping into a large underserved market. It is expected that around 80% of the coffee will be sold in sachets of 100 gram which is targeted to the low-income segment of the market that is neglected by the competition. CaféGbako is offering high quality affordable coffee to low-income households. With our investment we make affordable coffee available in rural areas in CAR as well as the neighboring province of Equateur in the Democratic Republic of Congo with a population of over 7 million.

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 believes in achieving sustainable economic development by encouraging entrepreneurship in the fast growing markets of DRC and CAR. Currently, many opportunities in these countries remain unexploited due to the lack of risk capital and support. The multiplier impact of such entrepreneurial endeavors creates jobs and income. CASF is a USD 25m fund (target) with 80% allocation to DRC and 20% in CAR. CASF will provide risk capital with an investment size ranging from USD 100,000 to a maximum of USD 500,000.


About XSML

XSML is an independent private equity fund manager with a strategic focus on emerging markets. As an architect building new funds and local fund managers in frontier markets, XSML, eXtra Small Medium Large, aims to 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 have shown that demand for finance from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) remains largely untapped despite increased interest in emerging markets from international investors. XSML bridges this gap between the international investors and the SMEs in emerging markets.


About Café Gbako

Café Gbako is a Central African producer of high quality roasted Robusta coffee for the local and regional market. The company started roasting coffee when the prices of coffee on the international market collapsed in 2002. The company has been founded by Mrs. and Mr. Maka Gbossokotto, a married couple who have a long history in the coffee growing and selling business in CAR. CaféGbako is a well-established brand name in CAR for quality locally roasted Robusta coffee.