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Barati Mahloele, Tiger Brands Venture Capital Fund Director. Picture: SUPPLIED
Barati Mahloele, Tiger Brands Venture Capital Fund Director. Picture: SUPPLIED

Tiger Brands’ foray into venture capital and early stage start-up investing is the focus of this edition of the Business Day Spotlight.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Barati Mahloele, director at Tiger Brands Venture Capital Fund.

Tiger Brands is a R30bn packaged goods company with a number of well known consumer brands under its umbrella such as Jungle Oats, Koo and Mrs Ball’s, across food, home care, baby and personal care.

Join the discussion: 

Mahloele explains the 100-year old group’s rationale for launching a venture capital fund in mid-2021, saying it allows the company to look for and invest in businesses that can ensure its sustainability for the next 100 years. 

The fund, currently worth R100m, will focus on investments in health and nutrition, snacks — or what the company refers to as “snackification” — and economic or affordable food options.

The unit recently made its first investment in Herbivore Earthfoods, a Cape Town-headquartered, woman-founded business specialising in the manufacture and sale of plant-based and vegan products. 

Together with co-investor, Secha Capital, an early-stage private-equity firm, Tiger Brands is now a minority shareholder in the business, which is run by founders Chanel Grantham and Davey du Plessis.

Herbivore Earthfoods Founder, Chanel Grantham, and Davey du Plessis, Herbivore Earthfoods Director.
Herbivore Earthfoods Founder, Chanel Grantham, and Davey du Plessis, Herbivore Earthfoods Director.
Image: Supplied

Topics of discussion include: Tiger Brands’ rationale for starting a venture fund; the company’s investment philosophy; areas of interest; partners in the projects; how much capital the company has earmarked for early stage investing; and how the group is looking to differentiate itself from other capital providers in the space. 

Mahloele, who was formerly with Unilever and has invested in a number of early stage businesses in a previous role, says Tiger Brands sees itself as a strategic investor with a strong enough balance sheet to invest in companies like Herbivore for the long term, or at least without the pressure to make quick cash. 

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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