Emerging and Growth Markets | March 6, 2022

Nigerian gender-lens fund Aruwa Capital backs cold-chain company Koolboks

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, March 7 – Koolboks makes affordable, renewably-powered refrigerators for food-based and other small businesses in Africa. The woman co-led company is based in France and operates in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. It offers its technology on a lease-to-own basis.

Nigeria-based Aruwa Capital, a gender-lens investment fund, backed Koolbok’s first equity round. Aruwa’s Adesuwa Okumbo Rhodes told ImpactAlpha that the fund backed Koolboks after seeing “first-hand the enormous impact their product is having on the lives of business owners in rural off-grid areas,” nearly three-quarters of whom are women. Many of its customers use Koolboks’ devices to store and sell frozen foods, she explained.

Koolboks will largely use the funding for working capital.

Gender portfolio

Koolboks is Aruwa’s sixth investment. Its portfolio also includes consumer goods company Agroeknor, health products company Wemy Industries, fintech ventures Crowdforce and Pngme, and pharmacy chain Lifestores Pharmacy.

Aruwa Capital invests in small and mid-sized businesses that are founded and led by women or which have a substantial base of women customers. Aruwa expects to close its first $25 million by mid-year.