Enygma Ventures has struck its fourth investment this year by committing ZAR4 million ($280,000) to Feelgood Health, a Cape Town-based consumer healthcare company that focuses on natural health products.
“After 20 years of steady growth without external funding, we felt now was the right time to access venture capital to scale the business to meet the increasing demand for natural health products and reach a wider market,” said Michele Carelse, founder of Feelgood Health.
Carelse, a clinical psychologist, started Feelgood Health in 1997. She used natural treatments and formulated herbal and homeopathic products for illnesses such as ADHD, depression and anxiety—initially for her private practice. As demand for her products grew, she began to distribute these remedies to selected stores and then opened her own website, one of the early e-commerce ventures in South Africa.
She also collaborated with Native Remedies in the US and has formulated more than 300 natural remedies which are now distributed internationally. The venture offers remedies, supplements and vitamins for adults, children, babies and even pets. Feelgood Health also has a wholesale division called Natural Wholesalers that focuses on distribution of products to health shops, pharmacies, gift shops and vet shops across South Africa.
The business recently graduated from the Startup Circles investor readiness program where it was handpicked by Enygma Ventures for this seed investment.
“The Feelgood Health team brings decades of experience in complimentary medicine manufacture and supply of natural health products. We are excited to see them scale at a time when natural health products and services are needed most,” said Lelemba Phiri, operating partner for Enygma Ventures.
Feelgood Health is the fourth investment by Enygma Ventures this year. Earlier this month, it backed online school Koa Academy. It also committed ZAR4 million to Brown & Ayo, an aspirational lifestyle hair brand in South Africa. In late May, it invested ZAR2.1 million ($150,000) in Startup Circles, a South African coaching and mentoring platform for getting entrepreneurs ready for investors.
US-based Enygma Ventures is a two-year-old private investment fund focused on investing in women-led businesses in southern Africa. It was co-founded by the husband-wife duo of Jacob and Sarah Dusek, who are also the co-founders of American adventure-hospitality company Under Canvas.