From a presentation at Praxis Labs The Gathering 2020
Matt Elsberry wanted to start a company that would maximise impact over maximising profitability and together with his co-founder, Hogan Bassey, at LivFul, which is a healthcare products company, he has done just that.
LivFul comes from John 10:10, where the thief comes to kill and steal and destroy but Jesus has come that we might have life and have it more abundantly.
Matt's co-founder, Hogan grew up in Nigeria and he, like many people in Nigeria, got malaria all the time - four serious cases before he was 10 years old. And he decided to do something about it. First, he went to his local store to see if anybody was providing anything he could put on his skin that would stop mosquitoes from biting him that carry malaria, and no success. Nobody had thought to provide anything like that for him.
And so he decided to take the matter into his own hands and designed his first insect repellent at the age of 10 years old, which would become a lifelong journey for him. He moved to the USA when he was a teenager, went to the University of Georgia, started meeting entomologists and technology creators. He and Matt started collaborating on what would it look like to solve the needs of ten-year-old Hogan in Nigeria and really the 3 or 4 billion people like him that run the risk every day of their life that could potentially hamper or even end their life.
So they created what they consider the world's best repellent. It lasts all day long, feels nice, smells nice, which you need to in order to have it be commercial and protecting. It's also safe enough to use every day for the rest of your life.
And what they really discovered along the process is that there's so many that fit in what we call the forgotten middle. There's 6 billion people that end up making somewhere between $3 and $60 a day, and most innovation doesn't go to them. With repellent, they realised that it was a massive opportunity to serve these as there could be as many as 3 or 4 billion daily users of the product which changes the game from a financial perspective.
So they went to Ghana and they protected some of the most susceptible people in the world, which are night security guards. Those security guards have 73% rates of malaria, some of them multiple times, and they were able to take that down to zero. And not only that, but the guards were able, even on their meagre salaries of $3.50 a day, to become daily purchasers of the repellent in little sachets that are just enough repellent for one person for one day.
They also launched in one of the world's richest economies, in Hong Kong, realising that oftentimes when you design for the world's poorest, you can deliver exceptional value to the top of the pyramid as well, the "best margin markets".
Then Covid hit and that led to revised thinking. Now LivFul's new mission is to discover, develop, and distribute life-saving, life-innovative products to those who need the most help around the world.
View the 6 minute presentation here:
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