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KENYA’S FORESTRY STARTUP KOMAZA RAISES $28M IN SERIES B EQUITY FUNDING

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Kenya’s micro-forestry startup, Komaza, has raised  $28m of a planned $33m Series B equity financing.

The round of funding was co-led by Novastar LPs AXA Investment Managers (through the AXA Impact Fund: Climate & Biodiversity), and the Dutch development bank FMO, with further participation by Mirova’s Land Degradation Neutrality Fund.

The tech-enabled company has it sights set on expansion armed with the funds, as it looks to expand its first site on Kenya’s coast to two additional sites across East Africa, investing in additional wood manufacturing facilities to grow its line of sustainable building materials, adding a new direct-to-farmer app to drive enrollment and increase farmer access to best practices.

Founded by Tevis Howard, Komaza is a tech-enabled, sustainable forestry company that provides a platform for small-scale farmers to solve the wood supply crisis. While distributed operations increase management complexity, Komaza uses AI and satellite data to map existing tree growth and real-time mobile apps on the ground to track farmer progress.

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Speaking on the company’s plan, Howard said, “For every acre of habitat lost on Kenya’s coast, more species go extinct than anywhere on the planet.

 “Massive challenges need ambitious companies fighting to create value and align incentives around solutions that work for both people and the planet. At Komaza, our vision is to become Africa’s largest forestry company, by partnering with farmers to provide a sustainable and hyper-scalable domestic supply of wood. As a result, farmers get a climate-resilient, zero-risk, source of wealth creation for their families, and investors get commercial returns, all while relieving the intense pressure on remaining natural forests.”

According to Jonathan Dean, Head of Impact Investing at AXA Investment Managers, “Our partnership with Komaza provides a practical model for aligning the interests of local communities with global objectives to combat climate change, protect ecosystems and their inherent biodiversity. Partnerships with the farmers and a close relationship with the supply chain will empower communities to not only help preserve local biodiversity but also drive an additional source of income.”

Annette Berendsen, Principal Investment Officer at FMO, commented: “We are very proud to be a direct shareholder in Komaza. We decided to invest because of the conviction and perseverance of Komaza’s management, the company’s strong tree planting track record, and its savvy proprietary operating systems. This funding round will enable Komaza to build on these strengths, to grow to scale and be a real game-changer in African forestry.”

“Land restoration is a major challenge but also a real opportunity,” adds Gautier Quéru, Director of Mirova’s Land Degradation Neutrality Fund. “We need talented entrepreneurs such as Komaza to scale up innovative and attractive solutions able to deliver tangible positive impacts for nature and the people.”

“In the three years since we closed the Series A financing, Komaza has demonstrated the ability to execute and grow its distinctive, tech-enabled microforestry business model,” says Steve Beck, founding partner at Novastar Ventures. “This landmark Series B financing provides the firepower now to replicate and scale the business across Africa.”

The company has planted over 6 million trees with 25,000 smallholder farmers to date.

Source:https://innovation-village.com/kenyas-forestry-startup-komaza-raises-28m-in-series-b-equity-funding/

GetFundedAfrica is a technology-based, business information platform operated by Afriscaper Research & Consulting Limited with a mission to reduce barriers to funding for African businesses. GFA matches investor ready, African & African-Diaspora owned companies with global investors, leveraging market research, industry data and news aggregation

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Are you an entrepreneur? Share your story with us and get featured on our platform send us an email nichole@getfundedafrica.com

GFA Attract – Episode 2: Impactful Trade… Supply-Chain…Manufacturer Centric with our latest guest contributor Lenin Ugoji

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