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VENTURES AFRICA – Non-profit capital fund, Acumen has made a $1.2 million investment in Rwanda based speciality coffee producer KZ Noir, a subsidiary of private equity firm Kaizen Venture Partners.
“This investment presents a great opportunity to impact the livelihoods of small scale coffee farmers in Rwanda, while building a scalable and financially sustainable company” said Duncan Onyango, East Africa Director, Acumen.
The convertible debt investment marks Acumen’s initial investment in Rwanda and first in the coffee sector, a key contributor to the Rwandan economy and an important source of employment.
Acumen’s investment will further strengthen the company’s capacity to expand through value added projects, KZ Noir’s MD, Gilbert Gatali said.
Speaking for the coffee producer’s parent company, Ngozi Dozie, a Director at Kaizen Venture Partners added: “Our goal is to become the leading integrated coffee company in Rwanda, with expertise across the value chain, and Acumen’s investment represents a significant step in that direction.”
KZ Noir is a fully-integrated Rwandan specialty coffee company that owns and operates eight coffee washing stations across three subsidiary companies, Caferwa, Karengera Coffee and Socor.
It sources its coffee from over 10,000 smallholder coffee farmers in Rwanda and markets its coffee across the globe, selling to blue chip buyers such as Starbucks, Sustainable Harvest, Mercanta, Stumptown and Taylor of Harrogate.