We are excited to announce Bertzman Social Venture’s investment in Jibu. Jibu is the first successful franchise model we have encountered in the WASH sector. The company has nearly 2000 retail points operated by 110 franchisees in eight East African countries. Each franchise has the equipment to sterilize reusable bottles and purify water from a tap, lake, well or spring. The franchises are locally owned and distribute affordable, safe and convenient drinking water to peri-urban communities which lack access to safe water.
During its six years of operations Jibu has provided 1500 local jobs, and distributed over 150M liters of clean water. Jibu is in the midst of a Series C raise to fund further expansion into while adding complementary products to their retail stores. Our $100k equity investment will fund five new franchise locations serving 14K individuals with convenient and reliable access to safe drinking water.
Last year we established four investment criteria: a passionate founder, viable business model, credible impact data, and the ability to scale. Jibu was founded by Randy Welsch and his son Galen. We’ve been impressed by their business savvy, commitment to improving the lives of others and the company’s steady growth. The unit economics are sound and franchise business model allows the franchisee to break even after 9 months and the franchisor to reach a breakeven point in 2 years. In addition to the typical financial metrics, Jibu diligently tracks impact through metrics like the number of liters distributed and employment opportunities created. They’ve already demonstrated their ability to scale into 2000 retail points and 8 countries.
The expansion plans are ambitious and can bring affordable, safe water to many more people. We are excited to be along for the ride.