Dutch impact investor DOB Equity supports Jibu Tanzania
By Rolex Owino
DOB Equity, a leading Dutch family-backed impact investor in East Africa, has recently invested in Jibu Tanzania – a producer and distributor of clean drinking water, to support the company’s rapid growth, via it’s new franchising model.
Jibu is a well-established regional producer and distributor of water through branded and refillable bottles in different sizes, which is substantially below the current price of bottled water. The firm complements the Tanzanian government by providing new ways of providing access to quality drinking water to households. The need is evident as unsafe water may lead to health problems and water-borne diseases that seriously affect the wellbeing of citizens, especially young children.
The technology that Jibu uses consists of a patented reverse-osmosis water filtration system, using municipal water. The filtration system also includes bottle-sanitizing equipment. The onsite treatment and filling technology allows Jibu’s franchisees to sell water significantly below the current market prices of bottled water – representing a cost-effective solution for low and middle-income households in Tanzania.
Jibu’s overriding vision emphasises upon access to clean drinking water for every household. With refillable bottles ranging from 3 to 20 litres, the firm better serves its core target market group, in comparison to its competitors, who mainly use disposable bottles of up to 1.5 litres.
Apart from competitive pricing, and providing business opportunities to local entrepreneurs through its franchising model, the Jibu refill model contributes to furthering varied environmental sustainability efforts.
Brigit van Dijk – van de Reijt, CEO of DOB Equity, stated: “DOB’s investment in Jibu supports the supply of quality and affordable drinking water through an innovative franchise model. Focusing on refillable bottles rather than disposables, the amount of plastic will drastically reduce. With a 53 million and growing population, Tanzania’s demand for clean drinking water is evident. Jibu is filling the gap in terms of quality and affordability, whilst keeping the use of plastics to a minimum.”
Ralph Jansen, Investment Manager of DOB Equity, stated, “Jibu is a true innovator. Approaching the market with a franchise model allowed Jibu to kick-start and scale to financial sustainability. The substantial social and environmental impact it has on local communities, driven by outstanding highly entrepreneurial leadership, makes Jibu a perfect fit with DOB Equity’s portfolio.”
Tayeb Noorbhai, Jibu’s CEO, stated: “We are very pleased and looking forward to working with DOB Equity on the rapid growth of our business. Our target output is access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, with respect for the environment. With DOB Equity we have found a financing partner that meets our needs in terms of quick turnaround, deep understanding of the FMCG market and that shares our social and environmental values.”
Source: ASV & The Exchange.