Acquiring the Future.
Milisa, the sole founder of Khula Lula, is a tech investment specialist who has built her career leveraging her expertise in both public and private equity to invest in the most disruptive ideas. She is a Bcom Accounting and Bcom Honours in Invesment Management graduate that is currently pursuing the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation. As an investment manager and venture builder, she has rapidly grown an equity portfolio, that through gross returns has enabled the bootstrapping of Khula Lula (Pty) Ltd, an impact driven private equity fund she established in 2019. She has accumulated experience in venture building, venture design, fundraising, investment management, startup ideation, startup incubation and advisory. She is a consistent growth hacker using financial innovation to expand democratized access to financial markets and funding for marginalized groups. It is through her fund, Khula Lula that she strives to reach her penultimate vision of entering the private equity space and filling the investment gap for marginalized tech founders in South Africa's private equity and venture capital landscape. It is with her dedication and work ethic that Khula Lula celebrates its first year as a fund in the private equity landscape, and looks forward to seeing many more.
13 BLACK WOMEN EMPOWERED
Acquiring the future is not only the company's slogan, but it is also a complete representation of Khula Lula's vision. If you think about where the world was a few decades ago, the biggest companies in the world today were either bankrupt, non-existent or trading for losses because of the dotcom bubble, very few foresaw where they would be now. And that is exactly the origin question at Khula Lula... How do we finance and own the next decade? The next disruptor? The next trillion dollar companies? We believe in the next few years innovations like the internet of things, robotics, virtual reality, machine learning, space, nanotechnology and automation will become mainstream technology that forms part of the day-to-day running of every company and our personal lives. Our long term goal is to be at the forefront of funding and scaling startups that are owned and run by African women. To date through it's first investment Khula Lula has created 1 funding opportunity, 9 jobs and 3 commercial contracts for African women.
At the inception of Khula Lula, it was important for us to create a space that would disrupt the status quo and the ideas around what private equity funds look like in Africa. It was important to prioritize the unique funding requirements underrepresented startups have at the pre-seed stage. Brilliant ideas are often stifled by a founders lack of access to getting their product to market in the first place. And that is gap Khula Lula addresses in the market. So we sat down and tested new metrics and methods to develop our investment strategy would enable us to access the private equity space even with minimal capital. This is how we decided Khula Lula would be a hybrid microfinancing fund, that specializes in both angel investment and public equity investing. In building our fund to date we have raised floating capital through bootstrapping. Funds that haven't been committed to startups for investment are held in fixed income securities and public markets. To date Khula Lula has made 9 public equity investments and 1 private equity investment. technology sector.
OUR PRIVATE EQUITY JOURNEY
OUR FUNDING PROCESS
In January 2020 we opened our applications for the first time to African women in the startup landscape to apply for R200 000 in funding for their pre-seed e-commerce startups. We encountered so many challenges along the way, which included navigating the changes our country was facing as a result of Covid-19. This did not stop us from pursuing our penultimate mission of providing microfinancing to a startup that aligned with our vision. We an overwhelming amount of applications, which we sifted down and shortlisted, up until we finally selected a founder to invest in. The form of private equity Khula Lula pursues is active in nature, and as a result we form an integral part of the running of the startup we selected to invest in. We are currently working along side the team of our first acquisition in scaling and raising series A funding.
Towards the end of August 2020, Khula Lula acquired a 50% stake in Native Nylon, a pre-seed fashion e-commerce startup, thus placing Native Nylon's valuation at R400 000. Native Nylon is 1 of the pre-seed startups that applied for Khula Lula's private equity funding opportunity. Khula Lula has successfully facilitated the incubation of Native Nylon and brought the startup to market in November 2020. Native Nylon has had a number of milestones which include landing its first major magazine shoot with The Throne Magazine in its first month of operations, additionally the e-commerce brand showcased its products on SABC1's New Years Eve Special broadcasted on national television to 3 million viewers. Native Nylon has dressed high profile South African celebrities such as Anele Zondo, Khanyi Mbau and Didintle Khunou. We congratulate the Native Nylon team on their hard work, and are proud of the growth. For more Info visit: nativenylon.com
Portia Dhlamini is the phenomenal founder behind Native Nylon, the 23 year old stood out as a result of her work ethic, incredible communications skills and her drive and commitment to making her business idea a reality. From being complete strangers to working together to bring her vision to life, we have had the pleasure of working alongside Portia in bringing Native Nylon to life over the past few months. From sleepless nights, to regulatory obstacles we have immersed our entire spirits in making this happen. Portia has dedicated her time, resources and skills in bringing this store to life. We look forward to continuously working with her to over the next few years in growing and scaling Native Nylon to something beyond our collective ideals for the brand.
PUBLIC EQUITY PORTFOLIO
Excess capital held by Khula Lula, that hasn't been allocated for private equity investment yet, is invested in public equity markets, namely the JSE, NYSE, NASDAQ and SEHK. Our investment strategy is focused on obtaining direct exposure in tech securities that have the characteristics of growth stocks that are trading in emerging markets. Our Public equity portfolios are split into an Asian market portfolio and African market portfolio. In 2021 our intention is to expand more into the US tech market.
Our journey in building our fund and creating access and opportunities in private equity has been highlighted by several media publications. To read all these exceptional pieces view the links below.
13 November 2020
"New micro financing fund for black women... Founded by Milisa Mabinza, a University of Johannesburg alumni, the new kid on the private equity funding block aims to address the existing gap of South African women involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity, by bolstering female entrepreneurship and underrepresented tech startups."
30 January 2021
"Milisa Mabinza's vision is clear - enabling black South African women's success in various fields of business where they have been previously disadvantaged. This dream led the birth of Khula Lula - a private equity fund - in 2019 Mabinza committed to providing funding opportunities to start-ups that would not have access to those resources"
SME South Africa
14 December 2020
"Mabinza is the founder of Khula Lula, one of South Africa’s first solely black-woman-owned private equity fund for black women-owned tech startups. In January this year they opened applications to black women in the startup landscape to apply for R200,000 pre-seed capital. This included fashion and beauty startups."