Silvertree Internet Holdings appoints Freddy Caspers as Chairman

By Fran Roberts

African internet platform Silvertree Internet Holdings has announced the appointment of Freddy Caspers as non-executive chairman of the board.

Caspers has been one of the core team members behind the phenomenal success of Reckitt Benckiser (RB), as executive board member and CEO of Emerging Markets.

RB, a London-listed global FMCG company, owns brands including Durex, Dettol, Vanish and Finish. 

As CEO of Emerging Markets at RB, Caspers was behind a rise in sales from US$1bn to US$8bn, and a sixteen-fold growth in profits.

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Caspers also created a shareholder value increase of over US$20bn during his tenure and managed a portfolio of companies with sales in over 100 countries and 25,000 people.

“I have great ambitions for Silvertree: to build it into the most successful internet technology company across Africa,” Caspers commented.

“Similar to my approach at RB, exceptional people with a performance driven culture and executional excellence will be key to our value creation to transform economic growth across the region.”

Silvertree said it has recently reached the milestone of over ZAR200mn (US$15mn) channelled into African consumer-focused technology companies since its inception in 2014.

The company said its portfolio has achieved an average of more than 200% annual revenue growth, helped by fast-growing companies like car buying site carzar.co.za and meal-kit delivery company ucook.co.za.

Silvertree said that a focus on three long-term value creation drivers – net revenue growth, margins and cash – enables the group’s operations to reach break-even much earlier in their life-cycle.

Looking forward, Silvertree plans to invest over ZAR 130mn (US$10mm) in the next 12 months into new and existing portfolio companies that make use of technology to reach consumers, with a focus on growth stage and buy-out opportunities.

Founder and MD, Peter Allerstorfer added, “We want to partner with like-minded entrepreneurs looking to disrupt large and high margin industries in Africa. It is still day one of the internet in Africa.”

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