Kenya

Soko Inc. 2

With EUR 331,300 B-Corp SOKO will be able to procure ethically sourced products from 2,300 Kenyan artisans which are sold in over 64 countries all over the world.

  • Direct investment
  • 15 new jobs
  • 2300 people reached
Issuer

€331,300

Amount

12 months

Maturity

6.25%

Annual interest
34%
Still €217,800 needed, 57 days to go
+ 263 other investors

Only available for tax residents of the Netherlands.

Due to a tax treaty with the United States this project is only available for Dutch tax payers. Before the 1st payment we will ask you to fill in a form, to prevent SOKO for paying double taxes.

About the issuer

IMPORTANT NOTE: high risk product - direct loan to renewable energy product distribution company. No local financial institution in between to cover risks.

Basic info:

  • Issuer:                                     SOKO Inc
  • Currency:                                EURO
  • Amount:                                  331,300 senior debt
  • Maturity:                                 12 months, semi-annually and linearly amortizing
  • Interest rate:                           6.25% p.a.



Direct loan

This is a direct loan to a company (rather than lending to a financial institution) and therefore it is recommendable that you are careful with the amount you will invest. 

 

Documentation

Information document of the issuer

 

Summary

SOKO is a manufacturing platform and ethical lifestyle brand that brings together artisan communities in the developing world with consumers worldwide. The innovative supply chain uses mobile technology to connect independent artisan entrepreneurs directly to SOKO and the global marketplace. Unlike centralized factory production, they are using technology and systems design to empower human capital, not displace it.

The project

SOKO is driven by purpose—to empower marginalized artisans and the communities in which they live by preserving artisanal production techniques and cultural heritage for future generations. The working capital facility with Lendahand will enable SOKO to procure ethically sourced products which are sold through our retail accounts and own direct to consumer business Shopsoko.com. The products are sold in over 64 countries and in over 600 points of distribution across United States, Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia.

Business model

SOKO’s current revenue stream comes through two distinct channels - wholesale sales to retailers across the globe and through our Direct to Consumer e-commerce platform shopsoko.com that also ships to consumers globally. We have over 500 points of distribution in 64 different countries.

The goal in 2020 is to create an additional revenue stream through a SaaS business model. SOKO’s Virtual Resource Planning (VRP) system has enabled the integrity and ease of managing a distributed virtual supply chain; in the form of creating purchase orders, monitoring delivery of goods, managing inventory levels within the internal value-addition chain, monitoring asset loans, generating control logs, tracking deposits/payments, and tracking the financial history of each artisan.

They are in “pilot” phase with the first customer and hope to continue adding additional customers this year and early next year to continue proving the value of the technology the way they did with the SOKO brand. 

Products range

The YTD 2019 current product ranges are:

  • Earrings - 48%
  • Rings - 13%
  • Bracelets - 23%
  • Necklaces - 16%

Sales

We launched a collaboration with The Reformation - “Reformation, the " cool girl's" clothing company with stores in New York and Los Angeles, is expanding into brick-and-mortar at a time when retail brands are closing stores across America.”  

In addition, for several years we have successfully been doing collaborations with FEED and the United Nations Trust Fund (UNTF) where we have designed exclusive products for them to sell and raise money as non-profit organizations.

In early 2020, we will be launching new collaborations Zolando, Madewell and Amour Vert. All very successful brick and mortar and/or online retailers.

Target 2020

Our Sales goals for financial year 2020 is around $10m based on the base case and $6.1m based on the downside case.

Impact

  • Artisans receive an average of 22% of retained revenue.
  • 2,300+ artisans in 282 workshops throughout Kenya.
  • Artisans working with SOKO earn 5x’s more than an average artisan workshop.
  • Approximately 11,400 beneficiaries of revenue generated from sales.
  • Improved artisan business and safety practices, skill development and quality.

 

Additional information on SOKO

Mission:

SOKO leverages technology to connect artisan entrepreneurs with the global marketplace.

Vision:

SOKO aspires to be a global leader in technology-enabled distributed manufacturing, catalysing a global supply chain to create ethically produced products while creating a measurable social impact in the lives of the artisan entrepreneurs and communities in which they live.

Management team

Joanne Calabrese, CEO

Before

President, Americas Region - The Body Shop

SVP/Head of Americas Region - Fossil Group

Vice President - Gap and Duty Free Shoppers

Divisional Merchandise Manager - Macy’s

Joshua Mwaniki , Managing Director

Before

Andela

Cellulant

M-Kopa

Marylene Otieno, Finance Director

Before

Barefoot Power Africa

Smart Solar Limited

KSPCA

Jennifer Nakamura, Head of Digital Marketing and Ecommerce

Before

Anki

Gymboree

Blue Martini

Viniita Moran, Director of Ecommerce

Before

SF Museum of Modern Art

Room to Read

Owl Cave Books

Hellen Savala, Head of Human Resources

Before

Samasource

Onfon

Aga Khan

Ericsson

 

Highlights or Awards

  • SOKO became BCorp certified in 2019
  • SOKO was chosen to participate in the Stanford Seed transformation plan project and we were one of 700 applicants and one of 65 companies chosen in East Africa
Company nameSoko Inc. 2
CEOJoanne Calabrese
Founded2011-01-01
LocationSan Fransisco
SectorManufacturing / Production
Turnover€2,300,000
Employees74

Impact of this project

  • With this investment 15 jobs are created
  • With this investment 2300 people are reached

About the investment

TypeDirect investment
IssuerSoko
Funding target€331,300
Annual interest6.25%
Maturity12 months
Repayment periodSemiannually
CurrencyEUR
Terms and conditionsShow
Note termsDownload
Information document issuerDownload

About the risks

What are the risks of investing money?

Our local partners cover the risk of currency exchange rates and loan defaults. They do this by maintaining financial reserves for this purpose . In addition, there is an option to claim their equity if needed. While these measures are intended to minimize the risk to funders, our local partners face risks of their own that could effect their ability to secure a loan. These include: - bankruptcy - currency exchange rates - fraud - operational risks - political and regulatory changes - natural disasters or epidemics.

If you invest direct in a company, hence not via a local partner, risks of default are not covered. As the risk that comes with direct lendings is generally higher than an investment through a local partner, the interest rate is also higher.

There is also some operational risk at Lendahand. An example might be that Lendahand is unable to find shareholders to finance their activities. In such a case, Lendahand will handle outstanding loans at the best of its ability. At the same time, our ability to legally address non-payment from local partners becomes understandably difficult.

How does Lendahand minimize the risks?

Local partners must adhere to our mission and work with us to provide loans that are affordable. This insures that local entrepreneurs have access to financing that allows them to grow their business. A local partner must also have a track record. In other words, they must have proven themselves as a meso-credit provider for SMEs. This means (for instance) that the partner must have a solid credit portfolio, along with enough buffers and equity to compensate for unexpected downturns. We also check the organizational structure of the partner and how robust their (internal) procedures are. Finally, the loans that a local partner receives via Lendahand must be in proportion to the partner's total balance sheet. A healthy balance between effectuating influence and independence is crucial. If you would like to receive more information on the financial indicators we employ, please contact us via info@lendahand.com.

When currency exchange risks become too high for a local partner, Lendahand will urge the local partner to cover these risks. In some scenario's the local partner is contractually obliged to comply with these demands.

Lendahand will always conduct due diligence when a Company requests for a direct loan. To provide more insights on risks, an independent partie comes in to perform brief analysis on direct loans. The results can be downloaded on the project detail page of the direct loan. However, this analysis serves primarily as a tool for your own opinion and conclusion. Pay attention to the fact this analysis is not an investing advice.

Does Lendahand provide guarantee on the loans?

Normally we don't. Local partners take care of the repayment, even if (some) entrepreneurs are unable to do so themselves. If the local partner is for some reason unable to repay then there is a chance of partial or full loss of your money. For this reason Lendahand only selects financially solid partners based on strict criteria.

Also, for most direct loans no guarantee is provided. For these investments currency risks are covered however.

Sometimes - and only for some direct investments in Africa - our partner Sida, part of the Swedish government, will provide a guarantee with a maximum of 50%. If this is the case, it will be indicated explicitly.

Does Lendahand have a license or exemption?

Yes. The Dutch Authority Financial Markets (AFM) has provided Hands-on B.V. (with trade name 'Lendahand') in September 2016 with an investment firm license in accordance with article 2:96 of the Financial Markets Supervision Act (Wft). Placing orders on Lendahand's website is therefore an AFM regulated activity. Lendahand also meets its minimum capital requirements of EUR 125,000 following its license as required by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

Lendahand uses an exemption from an approved prospectus that is available up to EUR 5 Million per year. 

How safe are my personal details?

We adhere to strict safety requirements with regards to private and payment details. All sensitive data is sent through an encrypted connection (https). Also, data is stored (encrypted) in a secured facility provided by AWS: the world largest hosting service. Customer documents can only be retrieved by a secured connection and multi-factor authentication.

What happens if the local currency devaluates?

Our local partners and Companies bear the exchange rate risks. We settle the loan, redemptions, and interest payments in euro.

Does Lendahand use a third foundation fund?

Lendahand works with Intersolve EGI: a Dutch financial institution that specialises in offering services in the field of payment settlement and electronic money. To be able to offer these financial services Intersolve EGI must comply with the applicable financial legislation. Intersolve EGI is therefore supervised by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) and is in possession of a license to act as an Electronic Money Institution (and therefore also has a license as a Payment Institution). Your money will be deposited on a protected and secure bank account until the project you have invested in has been fully funded. Intersolve in no way has access to these funds. Once the project is fully funded, the money is transferred to the local partner or company in question.

What happens with my money if Lendahand goes bankrupt?

If Hands-On BV (containing the brand name Lendahand) would go bankrupt trades between Lendahand and payment service provider Intersolve EGI would cease immediately. Intersolve will then transfer the funds in your personal wallet to your bank account (Note: if at this time the project you have invested in has been fully funded and the money has thus been transferred to the local partner, these funds will not be transferred back to your bank account). Intersolve will then in consultation with a trustee handle all repayments between the investors and investees up until the final repayment of the last project has taken place.

Additionally, Lendahand is part of the investor compensation scheme (ICS). This scheme aims to compensate individuals and small businesses who have trusted money and or financial instruments (such as notes or options) to a licensed bank, investment firm or a financial institution in case the financial firm is unable to meet its obligations arising from claims related to the investment service (in other words, if Hands-On BV is not keeping track of the acquired notes by investors in the Wge depot correctly). The ICS guarantees an amount of up to EUR 20,000 per individual. For more information, go to www.toezicht.dnb.nl/en/2/50-202210

Why is my money going via Intersolve EGI?

As part of the AFM license for investment firms it is required that operational activities carried out by Lendahand (maintaining the website, contracting of local partners, legal issues, etc.) are strictly separated from financial transactions (payments made through the website). Intersolve takes care of the payments. This collaboration offers you more security, since your money is placed on a protected bank account immediately after you have made your payment.

What happens when a local partner goes bankrupt?

When a local partner goes bankrupt, there will be a chance that you lose (part of) the amount you lend. Obviously Lendahand will try to recover outstanding payments, but the success rate will be limited in such situations. For the investor there is no possibility to take action against the financial institution. From a legal point of view the local partners are separated, therefore it is recommendable to spread loans across different local partners.

About Soko

Total assets€2,460,552.48
Revenue (per year)€1,639,669.89
Equity / total assets86.00%
Liquidity1123.00%