XSML keeps on trucking in Congo

Today, XSML, the fund manager active in Central Africa, announced its investment in Alpha Transport Sprl. Alpha Transport is a transport company offering international long distance transport services. Alpha Transport also offers (heavy) equipment leasing for mining companies and construction companies in Katanga province, DRC.


Likasi, Democratic Republic of Congo

XSML’s investment allows Alpha to expand and modernize its existing fleet of 30 trucks and embark on a long term growth strategy for its transport business. Alpha’s main clients are mining companies that are seeking to export their refined minerals as well as importers of equipment and other goods for the local market in Congo.

Alpha Transport operates from its headquarters in Likasi, a medium-sized city in the heart of the mining area in Katanga province. As mining companies are increasing their production and as additional mines are coming into production phase the coming years, the company is gearing up for increased demand to transport the minerals, mainly copper, from DRC via Zambia to Johannesburg in South Africa. Alpha Transport has an office in Johannesburg to provide transport services for goods coming from South Africa with destiny Katanga province, Congo. The transport market in Congo, DRC is highly fragmented with many small operators and only a few larger ones that offer reliable transport services.

The Managing Director of Alpha Transport, Mr. Kayumba states: “With the financing provided by the Central Africa SME Fund, Alpha is now able to purchase and modernize its existing fleet. We see an opportunity to provide mining companies with reliable transport services but need a more modern and larger fleet to be able to become the transport company of choice for these large mining companies.”

Jarl Heijstee, Managing Partner at XSML says: “Given the increasing mining activities in Katanga province and the lack of alternative transport infrastructure, we expect international long distance road transport to continue to grow rapidly. CASF aims to position Alpha as the premier provider of transport services to the mining sector as well as the domestic importers. Reliable transport remains one of the large bottlenecks for Congo, DRC as well as the Central African Republic. With our third investment in the transport sector we complement our earlier investments in river transport on the Congo river and our road transport services in CAR”

Alpha Transport is the sixteenth investment made by CASF and its thirteenth investment in DRC. CASF invested in road transport in CAR as well as river transport on the Congo river. 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 Alpha Transport Sprl

Alpha Transport is located in Likasi, Katanga province, DRC. Alpha provides long distance international road transport services. Alpha’s second activity is leasing or rental of heavy equipment and machinery for mining companies and construction companies.


About XSML

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.