Khula! a South African agri-tech startup, has used the launch of its new app to announce that it secured a seed funding round of ZAR20 million (US$1.4 million) last year.
Khula! , which has been in intensive pilot stage for the past three years, has established an ecosystem comprising three platforms aimed at increasing the efficiency of the agricultural value chain.
The Khula! Fresh Produce Marketplace, which is in the final stages of pilot, allows farmers to sell produce directly to formal market bulk buyers, while the Khula! Funder Dashboard connects institutional investors with farmers who meet their funding mandates. The just-released Khula! Inputs App, meanwhile, allows farmers to access approved agricultural inputs and services from leading suppliers.
Self-funded by founders Karidas Tshintsholo, Matthew Piper and Jackson Dyora for most of its pilot, Khula! has now announced it closed a seed round worth ZAR20 Million (US$1.4 million) in June of last year. The round was led by AECI, and also featured E-Squared Investments. The startup said the public announcement was purposely delayed so it could be timed with the release of the Khula! Inputs App.
“AECI is exactly the kind of investor we were looking for at this early stage. We did not want an investor at the table who was only going to ask us how we’d performed in a specific quarter; we wanted a long term partner that would execute with us. A partner with a great reputation in the industry and with an incredible distribution network, a partner whose long term success was tied to a business model like ours. And AECI fits that description perfectly for us,” said Tshintsholo.