Kenyan recycling startup Mr Green Africa raises funding round

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Kenyan tech-enabled plastic recycling startup Mr Green Africa has raised an undisclosed amount of funding to expand and build on its aggregation model.

Mr Green Africa recycles and sells ethically sourced materials with a traceable social and environmental impact, engaging over 2,000 previously marginalised waste collectors and selling over 2,000 metric tonnes of fairly sourced recycled materials.

It has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from DOB Equity, a Dutch family-backed impact investor in East Africa, and Global Innovation Fund, in partnership with Unilever, to help it expand and build on its aggregation model to enable it to scale the trade of recyclables while building a strong and reliable supplier network. 

This will lead to Mr Green Africa increasing its processing capacity to produce higher value recycled products in larger volumes to supply consumer goods companies via its tech-enabled value chain platform.

“We are very pleased and looking forward to working with DOB Equity and Global Innovation Fund on the expansion of Mr Green Africa. We believe we are in the right place, at the right time, to create a blueprint for emerging markets to provide a circular solution to the plastic challenge and need partners like DOB Equity and Global Innovation Fund that see this opportunity,” said Keiran Smith, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Mr Green Africa.

Saskia van der Mast, investment director of DOB Equity, said the firm expects the demand for recyclable materials in emerging markets such as Kenya to overtake that in developed countries, driven by the fact that Kenya is a growth market for these companies, as well as the negative effect of plastic packaging being more evident. 

“With its unique sourcing infrastructure and focus on quality we believe Mr Green Africa can work together with companies and provide an example for the plastics value chain globally,” she said.

Alix Zwane, CEO of Global Innovation Fund, said the startup was a great investment in that it is an innovative business with demonstrable returns in terms of financial and social impact. 

“Our funding will support its growth through which it will deliver real change. We look forward to engaging further with the team to realise the potential of this business,” said Zwane.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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