KENYA – Moko Home + Living, a Kenyan furniture startup, has raised US$6.5 million for expansion in the Kenyan market.

This Series B debt-equity funding round was co-led by U.S.-based investment fund Talanton and Swiss investor AlphaMundi Group. Other participants include Novastar ventures, Blink CV, and Kenya’s Victoria Commercial Bank which offered US$2 million in debt financing.

Apart from funding its expansion in the Kenyan market, Moko intends to use the funds to build more partnerships with retailers and outlets to increase offline sales. It also plans to purchase more equipment.

Already, MoKo is using digital technology in its production lines, having invested in “equipment that can take complex woodworking designs programmed by our engineers and execute them precisely in seconds.”

This, they say, has helped the team to work efficiently and increase production. The “automated recycling technology and software that calculates optimal use of raw materials” has also helped them cut waste.

“We were impressed by MoKo’s climate-friendly local production capabilities. The company is a leading innovator in the industry because they’ve turned sustainability into a remarkable commercial advantage,” said Miriam Atuya of the AlphaMundi Group.

“Every step they’ve taken on this front not only protects the environment, it also improves the durability or affordability of MoKo’s offering to its customers.”

Founded in 2014 by Eric Kouskalis, MoKo’s managing director and Fiorenzo Conte, Moko Home + Living started out as Watervale Investment Limited, an entity that sought to fix raw material supply issues for furniture manufacturers.

It however pivoted in 2017 and piloted its first consumer product (a mattress) launched the MoKo Home + Living brand to serve the mass market a year later.

The startup claims it has grown five-fold over the last three years, and its products are currently in more than 370,000 homes in Kenya. MoKo mattress is the one of its popular products in the Kenyan market and it intends to scale up its production capacity and grow its product line over the next few years.

“We plan to have an offering for each major piece of furniture in a typical home — bed frame, TV stand, coffee table, carpet. We are also developing even more affordable products in existing product categories — sofas and mattresses,” said Kouskalis.

MoKo targets to enter three new markets by 2025 and to reach a wide pool of customers as furniture demand in the continent continues to grow, driven by population growth, urbanization and increasing purchasing power.

“The potential for growth is what excites us the most. There’s still so much room to better serve millions of families in Kenya. That’s just the beginning — MoKo’s model is relevant for most markets in Africa, where families face similar obstacles in making comfortable, welcoming homes,” said Kouskalis.

Liked this article? Subscribe to DealStreet Africa News, our regular email newsletter with the latest news, deals, and insights from Africa’s businesseconomy, and more. SUBSCRIBE HERE