South African watertech start-up Kusini Water receives funding from Vumela Fund

SOUTH AFRICA – The FNB Business and Edge Growth investment vehicle Vumela Fund has announced a new deal with Gauteng-based clean watertech start-up Kusini Water.

This investment will enable the company to expand its operations and broaden its ability to bring clean, safe drinking water to people throughout the African continent.

Kusini Water is able to provide clean water to underserved communities by partnering with public benefit organisations.

The company was founded in 2017 and specialises in the manufacture and assembling of water filtration and treatment systems equipped with IoT technology, and also provides water use optimisation and green building solutions to corporates.

The business has grown rapidly as Kusini now runs over 30 sites and provides more than three million litres of water a month to communities and corporates.

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“Over the last 3 years we have worked with our corporate partners to improve water security and provide better water management tools in South Africa.

“With this funding and partnership with Vumela, we aim to increase our reach throughout South Africa and across the African continent to provide water security and ensure our communities have access to safe drinking water regardless of location,” says Kusini Water founder and CEO Murendeni Mafumo.

The company’s key goal is consistent with that of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of clean water and sanitation for all.

This investment will create positive environmental outcomes as well as the creation of permanent South African jobs.

“Kusini Water is an innovative and highly impactful business. We were impressed by the team’s skillset and experience and by their passion to drive practical solutions for the African context that deliver both commercial and social outcomes.

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“The results they have already shown are exceptional and we look forward to partnering with them in their local and international expansion plans,” says lead deal maker at Edge Growth, Philani Mzila.

As a graduate of FNB’s Social Entrepreneurship Impact Lab (SEIL) programme, Kusini Water has benefited from a blend of business development support as well as grant investment to catalyse the growth of their business.

US based VC firm names 3 startups from Africa in its latest cross-border cohort

Meanwhile, US-based venture capital firm SOSV has named three African startups – Egypt’s DXwand, Kenya’s MarketForce and Nigeria’s PricePally – among the 10 companies selected to receive approximately US$150,000 in seed funding as part of its cross-border programme.

SOSV provides multi-stage investment to develop and scale big ideas for positive change, investing in 150 companies every year through category-leading startup development programs.

The 10 startups chosen for this cohort are tackling global challenges from food security for Africa to lending solutions for the unbanked, and three of them hail from Africa.

Kenya’s MarketForce, a mobile-first SME digitisation platform; and Nigeria’s PricePally, a group-buying platform for agricultural products.

Egypt’s DXwand, a conversational AI tool to automate and extract insights from conversations in Arabic dialects and English.

Besides the US$150,000 seed funding, each startup benefits from a six-month programme with a specialised salesforce, tech support for growth, and a close-knit cross-border fraternity.

With US$1.1 billion in AUM as of October 2021, SOSV has backed eight African startups so far and plans to invest in 10 more companies on the continent while also building an ecosystem of corporate partners.

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