Start-up of the week: in Togo, the king of waste AGR reorganizes before its regional offensive
After having tamed its domestic market estimated at 800 tons per day, the young company, founded in 2013 by Edem D’Almeida (36 years old), completed in early October the lifting of nearly one million euros to establish a subsidiary in Benin, the first stage of its regional expansion.
At the beginning of October, Africa Global Recycling completed a round table which enabled it to raise around a million euros. This welcome of new investors was accompanied by a rebranding – new logo and new name: Africa Global Recycling Group -, its new identity to meet its pan-African ambition.
The Togolese start-up, which promotes an innovative cycle of waste management, wants to duplicate its AGR industrial and innovation model in new countries, starting with Benin “before the end of the year” and Ivory Coast in 2019, announced its founder, Edem D’Almeida, which displays its goal of “implementing AGR in ten countries over the next five years”.
Among the priority countries are Guinea-Conakry, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Mali. I & P Conseil, a subsidiary of the French private equity firm founded by Jean-Michel Severino, has been chosen to support this international deployment.
An investment of 300,000 euros in June
If all the details of the fundraising have not been disclosed, Edem D’Almeida says to retain 52% of a capital of 57 million CFA francs (87,000 euros), the rest of the shares being divided between investment and industrial groups.
Based in the Wuiti district, south of Lomé, this specialist in the waste management and recovery cycle (plastics, ferrous materials, electronic equipment, etc.) has invested some 200,000 euros in a multi-thread sorting and recycling center over the period 2013-2015. Last June, a new investment of 300,000 euros allowed him to acquire a packaging line and triple its processing capacity, which reaches 35 tons per day. Still far behind the 800 tons that the country produces daily.
The company, which has earned 80 million in 2017 and hopes to reach this year the milestone of 200 million F CFA turnover, is rolling out an investment plan estimated at 5 million euros for the acquisition of equipment and support its expansion outside Togo.
Mainly foreign customers
His clients ? Mainly foreigners. “We export more than 80% of our materials to Europe. Then come Asia and the Middle East, “says the 36-year-old Franco-Togolese. With 40 employees, the Togolese start-up puts waste in the heart of a new ecosystem that combines industry and education. “Our approach is to support our suppliers in sustainable development. We help them to establish an intelligent system to optimize, “explains D’Almeida.
Established in France since the early 2000s, Edem d’Almeida has fifteen years of experience in the sector of trading of recyclable waste and secondary materials. In 2005, then in charge of the commercial development and supply of the Industrial Waste Recovery Center within the Suez Environnement Group, he discovered a passion for waste management.
“Throughout my career, I have been asking myself a lot of questions about the reasons for the failures of waste management in Africa. This led me to redefine the notion of waste in its cultural dimension and in environmental policies by making it clear that it is a resource for the industry and our states, “explains the young entrepreneur. And he warns: “It is a mistake to think that what works elsewhere in Europe can be transposed here as is”.