Joburg-based award-winning agritech Khula, announced the launch of their new app in a statement yesterday, after securing a $1.3mn seed round led by AECI and ESquared Investments.
Three platforms, one mission
The investment came in June of last year but Khula! decided to keep the round undisclosed, stalling the announcement to coincide with their recent Khula Inputs App release.
“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,” commented CEO Tshintsholo in a statement.
We covered the agritech during the announcement of the undisclosed round and the beginning of their pilot which has seen three rigorous years of product and market testing.
Over 3000 farmers signed up during the pilot and Khula! had the opportunity to work with leading industry partners to deploy it successfully.
The pilot saw the creation of three Khula platforms all working to make the B2B agricultural supply chain simpler, more efficient, and economical for farmers.
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The Khula Fresh Produce Marketplace connects farmers to suppliers and allows farmers to sell their produce in bulk; The Khula Funder Dashboard connects investors with farmers, and their newest product, the Khula Inputs App, connects local farmers to local and international suppliers and service providers.
“Khula has very attractive fundamentals, a sizable addressable market, app development capabilities, key agri-business networks, and a management team that wishes to work with AECI as their preferred agri-input and technical advisory partner,” stated Quintin Cross, Managing Director of AECI Plant Health.
“This is an exciting opportunity for AECI to digitally reposition itself in the agri- input market space while leveraging our product, technical and distribution capabilities. It aligns well with our corporate social responsibility and community outreach and supports the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of Zero Hunger, Responsible Consumption and Production and Job Creation for a better world,” he said in closing.
What You Need To Know About Khula
Founded in 2016 by Karidas Tshintsholo (CEO), Matthew Piper (CPO), and Jackson Dyora, the startup has recently been celebrated through several awards, including winning the MTN Business App of the year in SA for 2018/2019, making it into the ‘10 Social Enterprises in the World’ in the Chivas Regal Global Venture Competition and winning the African stage of the KPMG Global Tech Innovator competition.
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