South African packaged foods company Tiger Brands has appointed Barati Mahloele to lead the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed firm’s corporate venture capital fund.
This VC fund aims to invest in businesses that align with the company’s consumer-relevant growth platforms of health and nutrition, and economical food options, Tiger Brands said.
The firm had floated the Tiger Brands Venture Capital Fund with a corpus of ZAR100 million ($6.4 million) in May 2021. Since then, it has received over 500 applications for funding.
The company said in November it was in the final stages of making an offer for a business that was closely aligned to its health and nutrition strategy, with a further nine opportunities being assessed.
In the medium to long term, the fund will provide the company with inorganic growth opportunities.
Mahloele, who has been designated as Venture Capital Fund director, joins Tiger Brands from Zebu Investment Partners, a food and agri-focused private equity firm in Africa.
She joined Zebu as a senior associate in September 2018 and was elevated as a vice president for investments in February 2020.
A commerce graduate from University of KwaZulu-Natal, Maloele spent eight years with Unilever starting with the internal audit team. She was also finance manager for different units including ice cream, deodorants and skincare, spreads and beverages, and worked as the supply chain finance manager for East Africa and emerging markets.
After quitting Unilever in 2015 she had short stints with Tshiamo Impact Partners and the UK’s CDC Group Plc in their Johannesburg offices. Subsequently, she went on to get an MBA degree from Oxford.
Although known for its packaged food business, Tiger Brands also has a presence in home and personal care segments.
For the year ended September 30, 2021, Tiger Brands reported revenue of ZAR31 billion, up 4% over the previous year. Group operating income was pegged at ZAR2.2 billion.