WHAT IS VAALBARA
VAALBARA was an Archean supercontinent that consisted of the Kaapvaal craton, today located in the eastern part of Southern Africa, and the Pilbara craton, today found in the north-western part of Western Australia. VAALBARA is the original, oldest supercontinent on Earth – it existed 3.6-billion years ago.
To us, Vaalbara signifies the salient continuities that unite communities and environments across space and time and acts as inspiration for the type of big picture thinking required to solve major challenges.
WHAT DO WE DO
VAALBARA builds on almost four decades of continuous institution building and socially motivated investment around financial inclusion. We are a development finance organisation, with a base in the Netherlands and in South Africa, committed to improving access to risk capital around the world. We support heterodox entrepreneurs building lasting organisations dedicated to scalable solutions. Our larger goal is to support projects that improve livelihoods, foster innovation ecosystems and promote sustainable development. We invest long-term capital into high value-adding teams and start-ups – in particular women founded, owned and managed enterprises. Our entrepreneurial partners employ over 75-people directly, and 3000 permanently employed indirectly who, in turn, support around 8000 livelihoods.
We focus on high-value added activities that multiply opportunity and drive social transformation or adaptation to climate-breakdown.
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HOW WE WORK
OUR VALUE-ADD TO PARTNERS
Laying operational foundations for scale
Sales approach to local and international markets
Capital raising / investor relations
Management Buy-outs or Buy-ins (Founder exits)
SUCCESS THROUGH PASSION
Commitment to people
Power of small teams
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We are a small, highly experienced team of operators and entrepreneurs, with a strong advisor network.
Rally Schachat (Principal)
Rally is an international entrepreneur and affordable property solutions developer, previously co-founding an award-winning health tech start-up in France and supporting as a fundraising and strategy advisor to Le Centre Pompidou and he completed the Diplôme de Cuisine Course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
Alma mater: University of Edinburgh.
Ross Esson (Principal)
Ross has more than 10 years’ experience in the design, implementation and change management of large-scale infrastructure projects ($50 – $100MM) across Southern and Eastern Africa focusing on public transport, airlines, construction and IT. Alma mater: University of Cape Town.
Ross Boyd (Advisor)
Ross is an experienced business leader with broad Commercial and Operational experience developed internationally. Thanks to his 16+ years with General Electric he has had the opportunity to turnaround struggling business units, build strong teams, bolster failing support functions and localize activities in Africa and China. Prior to his departure from GE, Ross was the Supply Chain Executive for GE Power in Africa tasked with restructuring and developing Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as a stand-alone sourcing region within the US$1.2-billion Regional Power business. Ross holds a Bachelor’s degree from University of Witwatersrand, an Advanced Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a MBA from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB).
Cobus de Ridder (Principal)
Cobus is an entrepreneur and seasoned operator; he has operationally led several start-ups from inception to accel past the US$1MM revenue marker inside 24-month time frames. Alma mater: Stellenbosch University.
Frederik de Ridder (Principal)
Frederik is a civil engineer and economist by trade, with international start-up and finance experience across Sub-Saharan Africa, the UK, Western Europe and North America; he serves on the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment and the Advisory Board of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Cape Town. Alma mater: University of Cambridge (Cambridge-MIT Institute); University of Cape Town.
Personal: extensive cultural immersion in 35+ countries; hiking, scuba, philosophy.
LATEST THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
The global community has spoken loud and clear: more resources must be mobilised to end extreme poverty and mitigate the effects of climate change. Blended finance - an approach to mix different forms of capital in support of development - is emerging as an important solution to help raise resources for the Sustainable Development Goals in developing countries.read more
...it is clearly time for the “industry” to reflect on what it has set out to achieve over the past decade or more. There is no better place to start than Herb Sturz’ question to me: “What’s the point?” which in this case translates into the question: what is impact investing for?.read more
...In a recent article Diane Isenberg, founder and owner of Family Office Ceniarth investments, describes her intention to convert all Ceniarth’s investments to impact first investments. In doing so she is living up to a philosophy she and co-author Neil Neichin expressed in an article a year prior those people who promise comfortable market-rate returns while solving global poverty are the equivalent of diet gurus promising that one can lose weight while eating limitless amounts of chocolate cake.read more
The universe of international development has become very seized with “problem statements” and “theories of change”. In many institutions every project proposal and strategy document is required to spell these out, which is odd if you think about it: you can’t have a new theory for every course of action.read more