MoKo Home + Living, a Kenya-based home furniture manufacturer and omnichannel retailer, has raised $6.5 million during a Series B debt-equity funding round, co-led by U.S.-based investment fund Talanton and Swiss investor AlphaMundi Group.
Novastar Ventures, which co-led the firm’s Series A round, and Blink CV, also made follow-on investments. Kenya’s Victoria Commercial Bank offered $2 million in debt financing, as Talanton also extended $1 million in mezzanine financing — a debt that can be turned into equity.
“We entered this market because we saw a real opportunity to guarantee and deliver quality furniture. We also wanted to bring convenience to customers by making it easy for them to buy home furniture, the largest asset for most families in Kenya,” Eric Kouskalis, MoKo’s managing director, who co-founded the startup with Fiorenzo Conte.
MoKo was founded in 2014, initially as Watervale Investment Limited, an entity that sought to fix raw material supply issues for furniture manufacturers. However, in 2017 it pivoted and started a pilot for its first consumer product (a mattress), and then a year later, launched the MoKo Home + Living brand to serve the mass market.
The startup says it has grown five-fold over the last three years, and its products are currently in more than 370,000 homes in Kenya. It hopes to sell to millions of homes over the next few years as it embarks on scaling up production and growing its product line. Among its current products is the popular MoKo mattress.
“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,” Eric Kouskalis.