Frankfurt (Germany) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), April 2018. GreenTec Capital is very pleased to announce our investment into Ethiopia and Netherlands based African Bamboo. Under the terms of the investment, African Bamboo will benefit from support by GreenTec’s “results4equity” model.
African Bamboo has developed an innovative and patented process that leverages the unique second-world sourcing possibilities in Africa. Bamboo is widely distributed in Sub-Saharan Africa, but the lack of industrial processes adapted to local African Bamboo species has limited the plant’s economic potential until now. The company produces a variety of innovative timber substituting products, natural composite materials, and biomass fuels from varieties of Bamboo available in Africa. Since 2012, the company has developed a flagship flooring product, completed the engineering of its production facilities in Ethiopia, and built up a vertically integrated supply chain with access to more than 10,000 ha of Bamboo forest in Ethiopia. African Bamboo’s process for producing boards from bamboo is both cost-competitive and results in a higher-quality product. The company will address the €7 Billion and growing international Natural Fiber Composite (NFC) market with its product line. NFCs are part of an emerging material class that combines the favourable performance and cost attributes of wood with the processability of thermoplastic polymers.
The company is also very impact-oriented, contributing to the expansion of silviculture and afforestation in Africa, sequestering mass amounts of atmospheric carbon with Bamboo’s rapid growth. The expansion of bamboo stands also combats erosion and the company’s production facility is powered by biomass and production residues. African Bamboo is also currently engaging with more than 600 farmers, who are improving their financial livelihoods and the company’s supply chain has more than 20,000 indirect beneficiaries.
The development of African Bamboo’s intellectual property has the potential to open vast new market possibilities and value chain development in Africa. Global demand for wood and flooring products as well as natural composites in industrial applications is growing rapidly, while Bamboo is widely distributed across Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, opening the possibility to scale rapidly through licensing. This presents an African developed innovation that has to potential to compete with China’s bamboo production as well as revolutionize forestry applications in Africa. Backed by a strong team, IP protections, and German certified production standards, the company is poised to capitalize on Africa’s “green gold.”