Launched in 1998, wine merchant CyberCellar was among the crop of original online retailers that led the advent of e-commerce in South Africa. Unlike many of the others, however, CyberCellar is still in business, trading under the same name and benefitting from the recent boom in online shopping driven by the Covid-19 pandemic.ByLauren Hartzenberg
Enygma Ventures has invested R9.2m in Black Mamba Foods, an Eswatini-based ethical producer of specialty food products.
Joe and Claudia Castellanos, Black Mamba Foods
Black Mamba Foods manufactures a range of chilli sauces, pestos, pickles, chutneys and jams, all made from natural, fresh ingredients without artificial flavours or preservatives.
The company is passionate about sustainable farming and uplifting local small-scale producers by providing them with a sustainable income. Black Mamba Foods creates market access for the farmers, who are mostly women, increasing food security for many rural families.
From the very beginning, the food producer knew that its work should not only have a social, but also an environmental impact. The farmers are trained in permaculture and regenerative farming practices that are good for the planet. The company is also committed to fostering sustainability through its packaging.
Claudia Castellanos, co-founder and CEO of Black Mamba Foods, commented, “We are extremely excited about this partnership with Enygma Ventures. The financial and strategic support will allow us to scale Black Mamba exponentially. It validates our business model, based on building a fun and modern African brand of high-quality food products while promoting inclusiveness of rural communities and green agriculture.”
Enygma Ventures is an investment fund for female entrepreneurs and women founders in southern Africa. The R9.2m Black Mamba investment further strengthens the R100m VC fund's growing portfolio of women-owned African businesses.
“We are very pleased to partner with Black Mamba, to scale their growth across the continent and beyond. Black Mamba is an incredible brand that not only elevates women and sustainable farming but also makes the world a better place for all of us,” said Sarah Dusek, managing partner and Co-Founder of Enygma Ventures.
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