Equity for Equity

The Elevar Method, or e.M, is the outcome of 15 years of building ‘equity for equity’. Our investment thesis focuses on three aspects: customers within low income communities, business models that deliver products and services affordably and at scale, and entrepreneurs with the ambition and ability to build businesses that address barriers of access and inequity.

How do we know an e.M company
when we see one?

Let’s start by talking about LAhWS and CBV.

LAhWS: DEFINING OUR CUSTOMER

‘LA : Low ARPU (average revenue per user), hWS : high or healthy Wallet Share’, or LAhWS, is how we define our target customer segment. This implies a company is providing affordable products and services for our customers, i.e. low ARPU, with positive margins at a unit level. A high or healthy wallet share of the customer i.e. hWS, indicates an essential and important product or service and a discerning customer who demands value and accountability.

LAhWS : Low ARPU (average revenue per user), high Wallet Share, is how we define our target customer segment

Execute on these lines and we believe you have an enduring business that is valuable to underserved customers within low income communities. A model powered by sustained customer demand, affordability and profitability – a compelling impact proposition for low income communities. It is how we filter investment opportunities and navigate the complex and sometimes perplexing world of impact investing.

All it now needs is a strategy for scaling business models.

Introducing Customer Business Value.

CUSTOMER BUSINESS VALUE: DRIVING ROE AND BUSINESS MODELS

We are obsessed with something we call Customer Business Value or CBV, a measure of value added to our customer’s lives. 

If revenue is the dollar value a company receives from a customer, CBV is the dollar value of goods and services received by the customer, often considerably higher than the ticket price of the product or service. CBV could refer to the value of loans outstanding, working capital, transaction value, gross merchandise value, insurance coverage, value of assets being leased and so on.

Increasing CBV is not about increases in prices, but about customer loyalty, and thoughtfully expanding the portfolio of offerings to provide solutions that drive resilience and vibrancy for a growing and loyal customer base.

And we believe a high CBV can lead to a high ROE, and so working CBV into ROE we get RO(m)E, a metric that focuses on marginalized, low income customers, and demonstrates a correlation between business performance, and impact.

CBV is the dollar value of goods and services our customer receives—as distinct from revenue which is the dollar value the company receives—when transacting with an e.M company.

For Elevar, it means that we’ve identified an e.M company with twin business and customer impact flywheels that deliver enduring momentum. Let’s get deeper into flywheels.

THE e.M TWIN FLYWHEELS: SCALING A LAhWS FOCUSED COMPANY

To scale the CBV of an e.M company with momentum, we focus on twin business and customer impact flywheels. Mechanical flywheels enable machines to work with energy efficiently. Business flywheels, on the other hand, enable businesses to work with equity effectively. 

Look at the business wheel and we see the drivers of a profitable business with a carefully chosen customer base. Look at the customer wheel and we see a business that delivers high CBV to a loyal LAhWS customer base. And a solution orientation when it comes to products and services that can address resilience and vibrancy. Two aligned wheels, accelerating each other. The goal of the e.M Twin Flywheels is to build a high momentum LAhWS focused business.

THE ELEVAR METHOD: SUMMING IT UP

An e.M company, then, is simply a LAhWS customer focused business that delivers high CBV at scale. Fifteen years of hands-on experience distilled into a philosophy for investment that speaks to solution-oriented entrepreneurs who love engaging with low income communities. Impact that starts with our equity backing a transformational entrepreneur, and scales up with momentum.