SOUTH AFRICA – South African food manufacturing giant, Tiger Brands, has announced the appointment of Barati Mahloele as Venture Capital Fund Director from 10 January 2022.

The JSE listed packaged food processor, launched the fund in June last year with an initial capital allocation of about R100 million (US$7.17 million), targeting food and beverage start-ups.

According to the company, the funds priority is investment in consumer brands and Intellectual Property within the food and beverage sector.

While its secondary focus is on capability and technology opportunities across the value chain which can benefit the broader Tiger business.

Relevant opportunities included emerging and existing consumer trends such as Health and Nutrition, Plant Based foods, Convenience and Snackification.

To this end, Barati will lead the Tiger Brands Venture Capital Fund which aims to invest in entrepreneurs with businesses that align to its consumer-relevant growth platforms of health and nutrition, snackification, and economical food options.

Barati has over ten years of experience in commercial finance and private equity, working with different entities across the globe.

She started her finance career at Unilever, and worked for them in South Africa, Kenya, the UK and Australia.

During her stint at the FMCG company, she was involved in greenfield investment projects in Kenya and Ethiopia.

She later joined Tshiamo Impact Partners, a South African based private equity fund manager with an impact focus.

At Tshiamo Barati she was instrumental in the fundraising as well as investment appraisal of high-growth, early-stage ventures in education, healthcare, and the green economy.

Later she lent her expertise to the CDC Group, where she worked with the Africa team on intermediated equity, coverage and portfolio management.

She joins Tiger Brands Venture Capital Fund from South Africa’s Zebu Investment Partners, a private equity fund manager established to invest in food production and processing throughout the African continent, where she was Vice President of Investments.

Barati holds an MBA from The University of Oxford, Saïd Business School, where she was a Saïd Foundation African Scholar, and a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

As of November 2021, the Venture Fund had received more than 500 expressions of interest since the launch in June.

During that time, it had made it first funding offer and was in the negotiating phase.

The Venture Fund is an addition to the environmental social and governance (ESG) fund that was aimed at developing emerging farmers.

Meanwhile, Tiger Brands has appointed Derek McKernan as Chief Manufacturing Officer from 1 January 2022.

Derek is an internationally experienced technical and operations leader with over 30 years of experience in supply chain and manufacturing leadership roles.

Prior to joining Tiger Brands as Operations Support Director in July 2020, Derek held senior roles at SABMiller and ABInBev in South Africa and in Asia Pacific.

The company also named Manoj Naran as Category Managing Director MillBake from 1 January 2022.

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