African Originals bets on crowdfunding to raise capital 


Kenyan start-up using local ingredients to make alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, African Originals targets to raise Sh86.6 million (£600,000) in crowdfunding to expand its product line.

The campaign, which will end this month, is being raised through Crowdcube, a British investment crowdfunding platform.

So far, it has raised over Sh96.7 million (€670,000) from local and international investors.

African Originals, which was started over two-years ago, has been making crafted beverages at its plant in Baba Dogo, Nairobi.  

Its non-alcoholic product line includes Tropical and Hibiscus flavour. Under its alcoholic line, it sells products such as passion fruit and lime, lime and ginger, mango and ginger, among other flavours.

Kenyan Originals was started with a mixture of seed funding from Alex and Chandaria Capital as the first investors. The company then brought on board more investors to advise and support them in the industry. 

In the equity deal, the company will give up to 10 percent of the company to investors.

“We would always want to hero local platforms. For this first trial, we are using a major global platform to be able to give reassurance to our audience that the process is well managed. Once we build confidence in this way of fundraising, we would love to explore local crowdfund platforms,” Kenyan Originals founder Alexandra Chappatte says.

Crowdfunding has become an alternate financial instrument globally that extends beyond the traditional circle of owners, relatives, and venture capitalists.

Crowdfunding is most often used by startups or growing businesses where a large number of individuals put in a small amount of capital.

Unlike open-source models, in the case of crowdfunding, the critical resource—capital—ultimately belongs to the firm and they are the only ones to use it.

It can help startups test ideas and products without a final MVP, enabling founders to target a community that is already looking to become early adopters.

It can also help test the market of early adopters before entering the actual market.

Chappate says the firm is running the crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money to invest in the brand to get it to a higher level.

This comes at a time when Kenyan Originals has unveiled locally-made flavored Gins as it seeks to tap into the growing alcoholic market.

The brands include KO Classic and Tambuzi 750ml retailing at Sh2,400 and 58 Classic and Spiced Orange going for Sh1,350.

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