The €12 million Buceros fund has been set up in cooperation with the Government-ran Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF): “Every euro we invest is matched by DGGF,” Corné Melissen of Buceros explained. The fund is initially looking at investments between €100.000 and €3.5 million. “Due to our cooperation with DGGF it means a Dutch Small or Medium Enterprise (SME) must be involved in the transaction,” said Mr. Melissen. “Another condition is that the companies we invest in work according to international best practices.”
That said, Mr. Melissen stressed that only the best deals would ultimately be selected. “Within the framework it is our job as professionals to select the most promising deals. The official aim of Buceros is to guarantee a return-on-investment of 6 percent, but I believe a much higher return is possible.”
Wide variety of sectors
The Buceros fund, which is backed by Ramphastos investments (owned by one of the Netherlands’ most famous entrepreneurs Marcel Boekhoorn) invests both in Africa and Latin America. “I think investing in Africa is more promising,” Mr. Melissen said. “We have seen a lot of interesting companies already, but we want to be extra careful before announcing our first participation.”
Asked which sectors Buceros prefers to invest in, Mr Melissen said the company keeps all options on the table. “It can really be everything, so long as we believe in it. There are very innovative enterprises coming up in Africa and we are not scared of providing Venture Capital or even seed capital, which is perceived to be even riskier. But initially I can imagine we would invest in an industrial company, which is preferably already exporting products.”
Another sector Buceros has been investigating is agriculture. “We have been looking at quite a number of agribusinesses, but many of them were too small. This is not an easy sector for setting up new companies from scratch,” he explained, although he didn’t rule out the possibility of future investments in the sector.
Buceros won’t easily invest in a company that is run from a distance. “Certain Dutch entrepreneurs want to run their business in Africa from their home in Amsterdam. We don’t believe in that. We want to see them locally involved with staff on the ground.”
More information: contact Corné Melissen and Ramon Lambert at email@example.com