Koa has completed a Series A equity round, in addition to closing additional senior and junior ranking debt, for a total of $10 million in financing from both institutional and private investors. 

“We are excited that we won strong and reputable partners for the further growth of our business," said Benjamin Kuschnik, co-founder and group finance director of Koa. "It shows that our way of responsibly doing business and our value proposition are meeting the pulse of the time. With these investments, we will be setting up Africa’s largest cocoa pulp processing plant in West Africa which is the world’s largest cocoa growing region."

Koa is investing the funds from the debt financing into a new production plant in Akim Achiase, in the eastern region of Ghana. This will be Koa’s second factory that is already in construction and is planned to start its operations by the end of 2022. 

“As the food industry is discovering the cocoa fruit, we need to grow in line with the demand from our customers," said Daniel Otu, Koa production and operations director. "Once fully operational, the new factory will increase our production capacity by tenfold, while generating 250 new jobs in rural Ghana and allowing us to extend our cocoa fruit upcycling to an additional 10,000 cocoa farmers."

Founded in 2017, Koa aims to disrupt the cocoa industry by upcycling the cocoa fruit. Working closely with cocoa smallholders, Koa reduces on-farm food waste around the cocoa fruit, generates additional farmer income and brings new ingredients to the food and beverage industry for applications such as chocolate, confectionery, ice cream and beverages.

Koa successfully completed its Series A round raising a total of $4.7 million in equity. The investment round was led by Haltra Group, a Luxembourg-based family investment company that is joined by a group of other like-minded family offices.

“As a family investment group focused on managing assets and having a positive impact, we promote the emergence of disruptive and sustainable economic models for future generations," said Matthieu Baumgartner, co-founder of Haltra. "We are delighted to participate in this exciting venture at the edge of Circular Economy and Food Transition, two of our core investment themes, and to contribute to impacting the local communities in Ghana."

The equity round is complemented by a $3.5 million long-term debt facility from impact funds and $2 million of shareholder loans. The long-term debt facility is co-led by the IDH Farmfit Fund and the Landscape Resilience Fund coming together in a unique partnership with the aim of improving smallholders’ incomes and their transition to climate resilient agriculture.

“Koa's innovation makes it possible for farmers to increase their living income significantly by selling their waste product, without having to make additional investment costs at their farms,” said Barbara Visser, COO of the IDH Farmfit Fund. “Koa furthermore aims to create gender equal employment opportunities in rural communities and targets to reach 40 percent women farmers, which are in line with core objectives of the IDH Farmfit Fund. We are very pleased that today’s investment will support Koa in responsible value creation in the cocoa supply chain. These kind of disruptive and innovative solutions are key to catalyze the system change that is needed to improve the lives of these cocoa farmers.”

Looking at strengthening cocoa farmers’ climate resilience, Urs Dieterich, managing director of the Landscape Resilience Fund, emphasized that “increasing investment in adaptation will save and improve many lives in the communities hardest hit by climate change. That’s what today's investment is all about — supporting an inspiring, socially, and environmentally grounded business to reach greater heights and have even more climate impact."