In a ground-breaking move that promises to revolutionise the agricultural landscape, Khula!, one of South Africa’s leading agritech startups, has announced the completion of a minority equity transaction with Absa bank. While the exact amount remains undisclosed, the strategic nature of this partnership is clear, as Khula! prepares for its upcoming series A raise.
Co-founder and CEO of Khula!, Karidas Tshintsholo, expressed enthusiasm about the decision, emphasising the long-term and strategic nature of the collaboration.
“We are aligned in our interests and how we see the industry transforming over the next few years,” Tshintsholo stated, highlighting the shared vision that propelled this significant move forward.
Faisal Mkhize, chief executive for relationship banking at the Absa Group, echoed the sentiment, underlining the bank’s commitment to solidifying its relationship with Khula! and the broader agricultural sector. “Amid efforts to continue building lasting relationships with our stakeholders, we are excited to further cement our relationship with Khula!,” Mkhize affirmed.
Award-winning agricultural app
At the heart of Khula!’s success lies its award-winning app, which has constructed an ecosystem comprising three platforms. The trading platform connects small-scale farmers, commercial farmers, and distributors of fresh produce with retail, wholesale, and export buyers.
Jackson Dyora, Khula! chief technology officer, expressed eagerness about the collaboration, stating, “We are looking forward to working closely with Absa and using our technology to make life better for the farmer.”
Additionally, Khula! boasts an input marketplace, where farmers can procure a wide range of products and services, including seed, plant health, plant protection, and animal health products.
Furthermore, the funder dashboard, currently in development, will connect buyers and sellers, facilitating seamless transactions and linking farmers in need of funding with potential investors.
Khula! chief operations officer, Ayanda Vana, believes this partnership has the potential to revolutionise financing models and bridge existing gaps, providing unparalleled support to farmers.
A winning collaboration
Abrie Rautenbach, head of Absa AgriBusiness, sees the acquisition as an opportunity to enhance Absa’s agricultural proposition for small and medium enterprises while also supporting the expansion of Khula!’s offerings. Rautenbach expressed optimism, stating, “This partnership between Khula! and Absa has the potential to bridge existing gaps and revolutionise financing models by leveraging technology to provide unparalleled support to farmers.”
The impact of this partnership extends beyond South Africa. It opens the door for potential expansion into other African markets where Absa operates, presenting a promising prospect for broader agricultural transformation across the continent.
Matthew Piper, Khula! co-founder believes this collaboration will transform the way SMEs access markets and contracts, ultimately propelling their business growth. “Technology will enable all players in the ecosystem to become more connected, efficient, and more competitive. This will definitely take South African agriculture forward,” Piper emphasised.
The Khula!-Absa partnership represents a remarkable milestone for South African agriculture, leveraging cutting-edge technology and strategic collaboration to propel the industry forward. With its visionary approach and commitment to empowering farmers, Khula! is poised to reshape the agricultural landscape, providing new opportunities and unlocking the potential for growth not only in South Africa but across the African continent.
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