ESWATINI – Black Mamba Foods, Eswatini based speciality food processor has clinched R9.2m (US$559k) worth of investment from Enygma Ventures through its female focused fund, to expand its operations.

The food company manufactures a range of chilli sauces, pestos, pickles, chutneys and jams, all made from natural, fresh ingredients without artificial flavours or preservatives.

“We are extremely excited about this partnership with Enygma Ventures. The financial and strategic support will allow us to scale Black Mamba exponentially.

“It validates our business model, based on building a fun and modern African brand of high-quality food products while promoting inclusiveness of rural communities and green agriculture,” said Claudia Castellanos, co-founder and CEO of Black Mamba Foods.

According to Bizcommunity, Black Mamba Foods is passionate about sustainable farming and uplifts the local small-scale producers’ incomes by providing them with direct market.

“We are very pleased to partner with Black Mamba, to scale their growth across the continent and beyond.”

Sarah Dusek – Managing partner and Co-Founder of Enygma Ventures

With an aim to not only become socially and economically impactful, the food producer trains the farmers in permaculture and regenerative farming practices geared towards conserving the environment.

The company is also committed to fostering sustainability through its packaging.

“We are very pleased to partner with Black Mamba, to scale their growth across the continent and beyond.

“Black Mamba is an incredible brand that not only elevates women and sustainable farming but also makes the world a better place for all of us,” said Sarah Dusek, managing partner and Co-Founder of Enygma Ventures.

The US-based investment company, that operates in Africa, Europe, and the United States recently launched a R100 million (US$6.5m) fund of which the financing to Black Food Mamba is part of, to support female-owned startups in Southern Africa.

Enygma Ventures is founded by award winning entrepreneurs Sarah and Jacob Dusek and is aimed at empowering, mentoring, and capitalising outstanding female entrepreneurs in Southern Africa.

Startups are currently the symbol of entrepreneurship in Africa. However, funding is an issue.

Venture funding in the first quarter of the year for African startups reached US$350 million according to data from Briter Bridges, a tech ecosystem data consultancy.

South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt topped the funding charts. These 4 countries also received the largest share of funding in the whole of 2019.

In the last three months of 2019, according to Weetracker’s research, African startups raised US$576.98 million.

While Briter’s Q1 2020 data shows fairly normal activity occurred in January and February, there was an 80 per cent drop in March, the month in which Africa began to record the first cases of coronavirus infections.

The report further notes that the global economy expected to go into recession in 2020, the 74 per cent growth in funding seen between 2018 and 2019, is unlikely to recur. Major economies that fund African startups will most certainly record significant declines.

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