Jibu, a social enterprise that has reinvented the traditional franchise model has raised $7 million Series B financing round, bringing its total raised to more than $10 million.
The Company will use the funds to accelerate its launch of 1,000 drinking water franchises in at least a dozen new countries by 2022.
“Over one billion people globally do not have access to daily necessities such as safe drinking water. In addition, top entrepreneurial talent lies dormant because of lack of meaningful business ownership opportunities and massive unemployment in emerging markets,” said Randy Welsch, Jibu Co-Founder and President. “These are the core challenges and opportunities Jibu is working to address through our hybrid social enterprise that fundamentally integrates financial and charitable goals without compromising either.”
Jibu’s Series B round consisted of a combination of mostly equity investment along with grant capital raised from many individuals and organizations internationally, notably Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Danone Communities (Paris), Stone Family Foundation (London), Asia Africa Investment & Consulting (AAIC, Tokyo), Maclellan Foundation, Segal Family Foundation, and NRD Capital.
“We are proud to have attracted a world class group of investors to help Jibu execute on our vision of funding and growing a network of co-invested business owners who will revolutionize the way critical resources are leveraged to meet basic necessities in emerging markets,” said Galen Welsch, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Jibu. “Our successful Series B raise provides the capital for Jibu to significantly increase the speed and quality of Jibu’s expansion globally.”
Jibu’s investors provided the following commentary about their financial support:
“By tapping into latent entrepreneurial talent, Jibu has demonstrated in a very innovative way how to multiply branded drinking water franchises that provide a highly trusted product while also generating a profit,” said Peter Laugharn, President and CEO for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “We are pleased to be investing in Jibu and hope our partnership spurs further creativity in an effort to reach the vast underserved market in Uganda.”
Corinne Bazina, General Manager at Danone Communities: “After working on the water kiosk model for the last 10 years, we see in Jibu’s service experience and franchise system the next step of what this solution needs to reach scale. We want to be of service to making that happen with a broader community of players, investors and operators.”
John Stone, founder of the Stone Family Foundation: “We believe that Jibu is the only water business serving the lower income market in Africa that is ‘investable’. We have been searching for nearly ten years to find an investable WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) enterprise and are pleased to invest both equity and grant capital in this opportunity.”
Shigeru Handa, AAIC’s Director of the Africa Healthcare Fund: “Jibu is needed. It makes people more safe and secure through access to affordable drinking water. It also promotes a profitable franchise business platform for entrepreneurs, creating jobs with true ownership. We are enthusiastic to invest in Jibu’s scaling and community promise.”
Jibu scaled from two franchises in two countries in 2015 to more than 200 new businesses in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, launching at a rate of more than one new locally-owned business per week. Many of these businesses are profitable within a few months.
In September 2017, Jibu adapted its business model in Zimbabwe by licensing an experienced local investor-entrepreneur to grow Jibu’s footprint to more than 90 franchises in Zimbabwe within the next few years. Jibu is also currently piloting this new model through a local partner in Tanzania. If successful, this new approach will further accelerate Jibu’s growth and international impact.