AXA Investment Managers and Mirova funds have backed a Kenya-based sustainable forestry company to raise $28m (€25m).

Komaza, which is planning to raise $33m for it’s second fundraising round, said the amount raised so far was received from investors including Novastar Ventures, the AXA Impact Climate and Biodiversity fund, and Dutch development bank FMO and Mirova’s Land Degradation Neutrality fund.

With this latest funding, Komaza said it on track to achieve its goal of planting one billion trees by 2030.

Tevis Howard, Komaza’s founder and CEO, said: “At Komaza, our vision is to become Africa’s largest forestry company, by partnering with farmers to provide a sustainable and hyper-scalable domestic supply of wood.

“As a result, farmers get a climate-resilient, zero-risk, source of wealth creation for their families, and investors get commercial returns, all while relieving the intense pressure on remaining natural forests.”

Jonathan Dean, head of impact investing at AXA Investment Managers, said: “Our partnership with Komaza provides a practical model for aligning the interests of local communities with global objectives to combat climate change, protect ecosystems and their inherent biodiversity.

“Partnerships with the farmers and a close relationship with the supply chain will empower communities to not only help preserve local biodiversity but also drive an additional source of income.”

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