ABSA BANK HAS ACQUIRED A MINORITY STAKE IN AGRITECH START-UP KHULA! APP
| Edward West
African News Agency
BR | BUSINESS REPORT
ABSA BANK has acquired a minority stake in the agri-tech start-up and award winning Khula! app as part of its digital and transformation journey, the bank said yesterday. “Through its award-winning app, Khula! has built an ecosystem of three platforms that addresses challenges across the agricultural value chain,” the bank said in a statement yesterday. This included a Fresh Produce Marketplace that connects small-scale farmers, commercial farmers or distributors of fresh produce with retail, wholesale and export buyers. An Input Marketplace where farmers could buy products and services (seed, plant health, plant protection and animal health products) from industry suppliers. A Funder Dashboard that connects buyers and sellers to complete orders and payments on the platform and links farmers in need of funding with potential investors will also be operational in due course. “Absa is a leading player in agribanking, not only in South Africa, but on the continent. The decision to add Absa to our capitalisation table is a very strategic and long-term decision. “We are aligned in our interests and how we see the industry transforming over the next few years,” Karidas Tshintsholo, the CEO at Khula!, said in a statement yesterday. The transaction marks the continuation of a partnership started in 2018. Since first piloting the solution with roughly 400 farmers, the app has attracted more than 7 000 active users and offers in excess of 5 000 products via its Input Marketplace. Along this journey, Absa and Khula! collaborated to introduce a standardised payment gateway to facilitate transactions on the app. Absa has also supported Khula! with enterprise development funding.