How self-confident Kenyan woman bagged Sh44m from US TV Show ‘Shark Tank’ after an impressive coffee pitch
A US based Kenyan woman who promotes and sells Kenyan coffee has gained fame and a Sh44 million investment in her business after impressing at an investment TV show.
A video trailer showing the New York-based Margaret Nyamumbo pitching her coffee business model to potential investors on the popular TV show Shark Tank has gone viral, especially on social media platforms.Nyamumbo, who appeared very confident in he pitch, had sought 350,000 USD (Ksh.44 million) for 5 % of her company adding that her kahawa 1893 coffee was the best product in the world.
She sought investment to famous business moguls in the reality TV show ‘Shark Tank’.
“I grew up on my grandfather’s coffee farm in Kenya. We are very proud of the coffee that grows on our soil; unfortunately, farmers don’t always make enough for the delicious coffee that they produce. In fact, 90 per cent of the labour and coffee come from women but so many are not compensated because they do not own the land,” she said.
The episode aired on Saturday at 4am Kenyan time on ABC Television.
Ms Nyamumbo, who moved to the US to take an MBA at Havard Business School and later worked at Wall Street, founded the company in 2017.
She pitched to investors (who are called “sharks” in the show) who included Mark Cuban, Emma Grede, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner.
She told the “sharks” of the unique nature of her business: “Sharks, did you know that the best coffee in the world grows in Kenya? I would know. I grew up on my grandfather’s coffee farm in Kenya. We, Kenyans, are very proud of the coffee that grows on our soil. But there’s a catch: the farmers don’t always make enough for the delicious coffee that they produce. In fact, 90 percent of the labour in coffee comes from women but so many are not compensated because they don’t own the land. That’s why I created a new way to compensate the coffee farmers. At Kahawa 1893, we source our coffee directly from women farmers in Africa. But that’s not all; we go one step further: our customers can tip the coffee farmers and we match the tips.”
She told the panel that she is all about sharing the wealth and “brewing a coffee revolution”.
The sample coffee that she presented to the “sharks” received praise for its taste.
Noting that her business makes over $1 million in sales every year, Ms Nyamumbo wanted to sell a five percent stake in her business for $350,000 (Sh44 million).
According to Nyamumbo, the lack of proper compensation for a majority of the coffee inspired her to create a way to compensate them.
“We source our coffee directly from women farmers in Africa, but that’s not all, we go one step further, our customers can tip the coffee farmers and we match the tips,” she said.
On her website, Nyamumbo goes deeper into her story:
“My grandfather was a driver for the colonial government and managed to get his hands on some seedlings to start his own coffee farm. Growing up in a community of coffee farmers, I witnessed the inequalities within the coffee industry – women provided 90% of the labor, but didn’t own land.
After studying abroad in the USA, I returned home with some ideas on how to bring Kenyan coffee to the world in a way that benefits our women farmers the most. I invite you to help me ensure that women farmers reap the rewards from their hard work.”
Kenyans poured praise on the budding entrepreneur with compliments.
Her idea captivated the sharks and, in the typical fashion of the show, they haggled with Ms Nyamumbo on the equity to acquire in the business and for how much.
After heated talks, it was Emma Grede who convinced Ms Nyamumbo to take the $350,000 she was seeking but for an eight percent stake in the business.
“Any brand that’s going to scale and do really well now has to be rooted in some kind of community,” Emma said.
According to Forbes, Emma’s net worth as of June 14, 2022, was $360 million (Sh45.3 billion).
Ms Nyamumbo’s presentation has drawn praise from various quarters. Kenyans on Twitter have commended her on her confidence and sales skills
“We are proud of you, girl. Kenya hoiyeee,” posted Katerina Amani.
“Great presentation. The story is well told. The struggle is captured,” tweeted Dennis Itumbi.
“Congratulations, Margaret. Awesome pitch,” wrote Kevian Muriithi.