• Planting the seeds

    Planting the seeds

    A Kenya-based forestry start-up has announced a first close of US$28 million of its planned US$33 million Series B equity financing.

    Komaza’s vision is to become Africa’s largest forestry company – it has already established partnerships with about 25 000 farmers to supply wood sustainably. Tech Gist Africa reports that, unlike many traditional plantations, Komaza uses satellite data and AI to map tree growth rates, and a mobile app that tracks the progress of farmers. This has myriad benefits, including supporting small-scale farmers in commercial forestry and reducing costs.

    In the three years since raising Series A funding, and with the latest funding closed, the company is well on its way towards its goal of planting 1 billion trees by 2030, doubling existing tree cover across all operating landscapes.

    ‘In Kenya, nearly half the local wood supply today already comes from small farmers. But on their own, individual farmers aren’t achieving commercial quality or growth rates, and are disconnected from high-value industrial markets,’ Komaza states on its website. ‘Yet small-scale farmers offer effectively limitless land and labour, and live on the doorstep of every major urban market. Komaza aims to unlock their incredible production potential.’

    According to the Dutch Development Bank (one of the Series B funders), Komaza has already planted more than 6 million trees.

    28 July 2020
    Image: Komaza