Investment-Worthy, Bottom of the Pyramid Business I Met at the Social Capital Markets Conference
Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) businesses are those that serve 2-3 billion people at the bottom of the economic ladder. The best of these businesses accept low individual customer LTV in exchange for massive customer potential.
At the Social Capital Markets 2013 conference I met with many such business. Here are the most compelling.
KIKE Green Stove & BioFuel Gel
This Nigerian business converts sawdust and vegetative waste into clean burning cooking ethanol-gel. The business has already sold well over 100,000 of their optimized stoves and produced 1,000,000 litres of their ethanol-gel. Production is growing at a rate of 15% MoM and they are on track to pass their one millionth customer by the end of the year. The business is very carbon neutral as they use sawdust and polluting water hyacinth and sell gel in recycled bottles.
Lumeter solves the monetization problem for off-grid energy supply. Many villages are now getting power via local alternative energy sources (See AllPowerLabs below). However, these providers have few options to meter and charge individual customers. Lumeter makes rugged, inexpensive networked power meters that release energy on customer demand. Households and businesses use SMS to pay-on-demand for just the power they need. Their are no upfront costs and no surprise overages.
The BRCK is a 3rd world router that connects to internet via ethernet and/or SimCard. It has an 8+ hr batter life, can support 20+ wifi connections and allows for many peripherals. It’s both an individual, community and business product. The BRCK is a project of Ushahidi, the biggest Kenyan-based software company.
Beyonic estimates that organizations spend $30 billion worldwide on payment overhead. This is ahuge problem for companies in South Asia, Africa, C & S American is getting payment to their employees in the field. Payroll often involves long drives out to the field offices, trips into the cities. Beyonic is building the TriNet for the developing world.
All Power Labs
All Power Lab’s Power Pallet is an automated solution for personal and small-business scale biomass power generation. It’s the world’s most efficient and portable gasifier and can produce either electricity or shaft power. Their models produce between 10kW and 20kW of power. They’ve sold thousands of PowerPallets and demand increases 10% MoM.
If you would like an introduction to any of these companies you can email me at trheingold / gmail.
You can also read my previous article on how investor and entrepreneurs should be thinking about B-Corps.
If you are interested in these topics in general you can follow me @tedr