Sri Lanka-based apparel company Hela Apparel Holdings has secured a $5 million loan from Aavishkaar Capital, an Indian venture capital firm, and German state-owned investment fund KFW.
The funding is part of the two entities’ partnership under the $250 million ESG First Fund which is dedicated to supporting companies that help to generate superior Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) outcomes.
According to Hela, the company will use the funds to boost its expansion efforts in Africa. In his statement, Hela chairman Albert Rasiah underscored the company’s commitment to expanding its operations in Africa.
In particular, Rasiah noted that they will channel the funds towards plans to scale up production capacity in its Egyptian branch.
“This investment by ESG First Fund will help us to continue this fruitful journey, particularly by supporting the expansion of our Egyptian manufacturing facility to its full scale,” Hela chairman Albert Rasiah noted.
Partners laud Hela Investment
On his part, Aavishkar Managing Partner Ashish Patel noted that the investment was part of the firm’s commitment to providing flexible and non-dilutive financial solutions for businesses in Africa and Asia.
Patel further expressed his optimism that the partnership with Hela Apparels will eventually accelerate its business momentum and create employment opportunities in line with Aavishkar’s commitment.
KFW Director Stephanie Lindemann described the investment as a move capable of transforming the textile and apparel sector in Africa.
Furthermore, Lindemann affirmed KFW’s commitment to sustain the fund’s focus on ecologically conscious sustainable businesses that not only promotes efforts to protect the environment but also creates employment opportunities.
“We believe this investment will have a transformative impact on the textile and apparel sector in Africa,” Lindemann noted.
Currently, Hela has positioned itself as a leader in sustainability-focused apparel manufacturing and has operations in 10 countries across Asia and Africa including Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt.
Since its entry to Africa in 2016, the textile company has employed over 10,000 people in its factories spread across Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt.
The $5 million loan came two months after the company signed $14 million financing agreement with Norwegian government’s Norfund to support its sustainability initiatives.