DOB Equity

Outgoing Co-CEOs Saskia van der Mast and Hayo Afman have been pivotal in advancing impact investment in East Africa

Coen Boevé to take over as interim CEO

DOB Equity, a family-backed impact investment fund committed to fostering positive social and environmental change across East Africa, announces a significant change in its senior leadership.

After a tenure spanning 19 and 9 years, respectively, Co-CEOs Saskia van der Mast and Hayo Afman will be stepping down from their roles, marking the conclusion of a transformative era for the organization.

The fund will also commence the search for a new  CEO to lead its next phase of growth. In the interim, Coen Boevé, CFO of DOB Equity, will assume the role of interim CEO.

During their tenure, Saskia and Hayo have been instrumental in driving the growth and success of DOB Equity and shaping the landscape of impact investment in East Africa.

They have grown the portfolio from the first investment in 2007 to over 30 impactful companies to date, winning multiple awards, amongst others, for best Impact Investment Firm by the East Africa Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.

With successful exits in companies such as M-Kopa, Bridge International Academies, and Twiga Foods, they have demonstrated that impact investments in Africa can yield both strong social and financial returns.

Saskia highlights: “For example, we were the first investors in M-Kopa on their proposition to sell solar home systems on an affordable payment plan. A decade later the company has avoided 2.2m tons of carbon, issued over $1 billion of credit to the underbanked and positively impacted the lives of over 3 million people, with the value of our investment growing in parallel.”

Hayo adds “Our impact philosophy is centered on investing in innovative and scalable businesses that solve meaningful problems and have the potential to impact millions in the region. When the impact is cemented in the company’s leadership and business model, commercial traction, impact, and financial value naturally grow hand-in-hand.”

Reflecting on their time with the organization, Saskia and Hayo express gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to positive change in Africa. “It has been an incredible journey to witness the transformative power of impact investing firsthand. We are immensely proud of what we have achieved together and are confident in the continued success of DOB Equity under new leadership”.

Moving forward, DOB will utilize its extensive expertise, team, network, and data accumulated over nearly 20 years to invest patient capital in skilled founders and businesses offering local solutions to local problems. The focus will be on innovative, realistically scalable start-ups within water, energy, and food systems, enhancing access and resilience against a backdrop of climate change impacts. DOB Equity will focus on Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, targeting investments from seed to series A.

Frank Tobé, a board member of DOB Equity and member of DOB Equity’s founding family adds “On behalf of the Board and family, we extend our deepest gratitude to Saskia and Hayo for their exemplary leadership and unwavering dedication. Under their guidance, DOB Equity has flourished, contributing significantly to a more sustainable and inclusive future for Eastern-Africa.”

Frank Tobé, “As DOB Equity embarks on this new chapter, it remains steadfast in its mission to drive positive impact and create lasting change across the East-African region.”

Categories: People

About the Author