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.”
This innovation comes at a critical time for climate action and biodiversity loss. Despite having the highest potential at lowest cost, natural climate solutions receive less than 3% of global climate financing. With reforestation rising to become a hot topic at Davos this year, commercial win-win models like Komaza are essential to unlocking the tremendous support potential of mainstream capital markets.
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.”
Komaza plans to leverage its Series B funding to expand from its first site on Kenya’s coast to two additional sites across East Africa. The company will invest in additional wood manufacturing facilities to expand its line of high quality, sustainable building materials. Komaza plans to add a new direct-to-farmer app to drive enrollment and increase farmer access to best practices. They will also build off of their success with a recent remote sensing and AI pilot for automated monitoring of their farms.
“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.”