SOUTH AFRICA – Silvertree Internet Holdings, an investment firm and owner of Ucook, PriceCheck and other online companies has announced that expects a public listing in 2023 with a US$300m target in annual revenues by then.
The investment, holding and operating company was formed in 2014 and according to Business Day, it employs 300 people with US$40 million in annual revenues.
Both Silvertree and PriceCheck invest in the local internet market, with an eye on the growing online services.
Silvertree acquired PriceCheck, South Africa’s price comparison start up back in 2015 from media giant Naspers for an undisclosed sum.
PriceCheck operates in South Africa and, more recently, Nigeria with over five million products listed from retailers including Zando, Konga and Jumia.
The ecommerce sector in this region has attracted competition from Naspers who have been investing in its Takealot business, particularly the Mr D Food delivery service.
Speaking to Business Day, cofounder and MD Manuel Koser said Silvertree expected to see compound organic growth of at least 35% for the next five years, and would also make investments in consumer and internet entrepreneurs to help accelerate their businesses.
“Silvertree Internet Holdings is looking for a liquidity event in 2023, and as part of this we’re looking at an IPO [initial public offering] as an option,” he said.
Silvertree is also a major shareholder in Ucook, a meal ingredients and recipe company, delivering about 30,000 meals a month to its subscribers across SA.
These investments are driven by time-strapped consumers, drawn to services that provide convenient and healthy food.
“I think people are driven to services like Ucook primarily because there’s just no time for finding new recipes and traipsing off to the shops and so on – only to throw out half of what you bought at the end of the week,” said Ucook’s GM for Johannesburg, Abigail Goschen to Business Day.
“Having fresh ingredients, in the right portions, with easy to follow but delicious recipes delivered to your door at the touch of a button is really appealing.”
Demand for convenience has attracted investments from retailers such as Woolworths and Famous Brands who recently launched a unit called ‘Frozen For You’ in SA, which allows customers to purchase frozen food online.
Another local health-focused food delivery company that offers meal delivery service is iHealth Meals.