Acquiring the Future.
5 YEARS INVESTMENT EXPERIENCE
Milisa, the sole founder of Khula Lula, is a tech investor who got into investments at the age of 16 by buying her first stock in Sasol through the Inzalo BBBEE share scheme. She went on to study Bcom accounting and Honours in investment management, and worked for a while in the financial industry in different roles, that inevitably shaped her investment career. She spent a few years in corporate before leaving and deciding to create her own fund. Bootstrapping her way to raising additional capital through her public equity investments and earnings, she recently created Khula Lula as an investment vehicle to reach her penultimate vision of entering the private equity space and to fill the investment gap for black investors and black women tech founders in South Africa's venture capital and private equity landscape. It is with her dedication and work ethic that Khula Lula celebrates its first year 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, aerospace, 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 black 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 venture capital looks like in Africa. We believe the mainstream approach to funding hasn't fully benefited black women innovators to an optimal extent; it has also created barriers to entry for young black investors that don't have access to deal flow and excessive capital. So we sat down and tested new metrics and methods to develop our investment strategy. Firstly, we have a three tier funding system that begins at raising floating capital through bootstrapping, that is allocated to public equities for a period of time and then sold to raise our private equity funds. Secondly, we identify and conduct research on sectors and ideas within the tech industry that are an ideal match for micro-financing and can be scaled through reinvestment over time. Finally we acquire a stake in SMME's that fit our blueprint. To date Khula Lula has made 9 public equity investments and 1 private equity investment in the technology sector.
OUR PRIVATE EQUITY JOURNEY
OUR FUNDING PROCESS
In January 2020 we opened our applications for the first time to black women in the startup landscape to apply for R200 000 in funding for their pre-seed fashion or beauty 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 had 37 applications in total, 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. Hence the current chapter of our private equity journey is currently preoccupied with the launch of our latest acquisition: Native Nylon.
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 37 pre-seed startups that applied for Khula Lula's private equity funding opportunity, and it stood out because of how aligned the founder's vision for the business was with the overall vision of Khula Lula. The business model is rooted in bridging the gap between luxury and affordability. This is a model in fashion that has taken up headwind recently, with the likes of Telfar and Zara, as examples of successful variations of this model. Through discussions with the founder, the business had a clear brand identity and was scalable with just the amount of microfinancing we had available. The e-commerce store launches in November 2020. 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 two 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.
We are currently working on creating our next opportunity targeted at pre-seed tech startups run by black women founders. Please send short pitch decks to firstname.lastname@example.org.