Swiss-Ghanaian start-up Koa secures $10 million growth capital to accelerate its disruptive upcycling business around the cocoa fruit. The investments will allow Koa to scale its production capabilities tenfold and thereby allowing the company to cooperate with an additional 10,000 cocoa smallholders in Ghana. Koa is taking the next step to scale its impact in the cocoa sector.
The Swiss-Ghanaian start-up announces the completion of its Series A equity round as well as the closing of additional senior and junior ranking debt for a total of $10 million of financing from both institutional and private investors. “We are excited that we won strong and reputable partners for the further growth of our business. 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,” Benjamin Kuschnik, Co-Founder and Group Finance Director of Koa, says.
Founded in 2017, Koa is disrupting the cocoa industry through its innovative upcycling of the cocoa fruit. Koa is the first company in West Africa to have unlocked a new value chain around the so far discarded cocoa pulp. Working closely with cocoa smallholders, Koa reduces on-farm food waste around the cocoa fruit, generates additional farmer income while at the same time bringing unique new ingredients to the food and beverage industry for applications ranging from chocolate, confectionery, ice cream to drinks.
Increasing the production capacity tenfold to meet customer demand
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 which 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. 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,” Daniel Otu, Production & Operations Director at Koa, explains.