To fuel its expansion ambitions, South African agritech startup Khula has secured an investment from a fund backed by PepsiCo, the details of which remain undisclosed. This strategic investment represents a significant milestone for Khula, as it aligns with their mission to empower farmers by providing a digital platform that facilitates connections with suppliers, buyers, and financing opportunities.
The funding for this initiative comes from the Kgodiso Development Fund, an entity established by PepsiCo South Africa with an initial capital infusion of R600 million ($32.7M). The primary objective of this fund is to support the growth of emerging farmers, with a focus on promoting market-driven programs, fostering collaboration on innovative solutions, and expanding its positive influence through strategic investments.
Khula’s visionaries, Karidas Tshintsholo, Jackson Dyora, and Matthew Piper, have forged a digital landscape tailored to tackle the obstacles confronting South African farmers on their journey to market access and financial stability. PepsiCo’s strategic investment places Khula in an advantageous position for future growth, paving the way for expansion beyond South Africa by harnessing PepsiCo’s vast global network and supply chain.
Eugene Willemsen, CEO of PepsiCo Africa, Middle East, and South Asia, underscored the significance of partnerships like this one in addressing local development challenges. He emphasized, “These collaborations target the knowledge and skills gaps within the South African food system, leading to substantial and strategic transformations. Furthermore, PepsiCo’s extensive scale and reach offer farmers and producers a new avenue to access the market.”
In conjunction with the Kgodiso Fund, PepsiCo joins Absa, AECI, and E Squared as stakeholders in Khula, demonstrating unwavering support for the startup’s mission of revolutionizing the South African agricultural sector.
The Khula! Fresh Produce Marketplace serves as a bridge between farmers and suppliers, enabling bulk sales. Meanwhile, the Khula! The Funder Dashboard facilitates connections between investors and farmers. Additionally, the Khula! Inputs App connects local farmers with local and international suppliers and service providers