DOB Equity, a leading Dutch family-backed impact investor in East Africa, has invested in Jibu Tanzania the producer and distributor of clean drinking water to support the company’s rapid growth of a replicable franchise store concept in major cities in the country, starting from Arusha.
Jibu is a well-established regional producer and distributor of water through branded and refillable bottles in different sizes, substantially below the current price of bottled water. Jibu 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 which seriously affects the wellbeing of, especially young children.
The technology that Jibu uses consists of a patented reverse-osmosis water filtration system, using municipal water. The filtration systems also include bottle sanitizing equipment. The onsite treatment and filling technology allow Jibu 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 vision is access to clean drinking water for every household. With refillable bottles ranging from 3 liters to 20 liters, Jibu serves its target group in larger quantities than existing suppliers, who mainly use disposable bottles of up to 1.5 liters. Apart from competitive pricing, and providing business opportunities to local entrepreneurs through the franchise model, the Jibu refill model ticks the box on the environmental angle as well.
Brigit van Dijk – van de Reijt, CEO of DOB Equity, says: “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, said, “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, CEO of Jibu, said, “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 meet our needs in terms of quick turnaround, deep understanding of the FMCG market and that shares our social and environmental values.”