Gazelle Fund LP (the “Fund”) continues to invest in Georgian SMEs during this economic downturn, targeting value investment opportunities. The Fund recently invested US$ 600,000 in MANNA, the premium producer of high-quality tea products in Georgia.
This investment positions MANNA to expand its local production capacity, increase its sourcing of locally grown tea, and further buildout its local workforce. Following this investment, the Company is better positioned to increase market share in Georgia, further displace imported tea products, and deepen export capacity to the EU, Ukraine, and Russia.
"In Georgia, for our agribusiness portfolio, Gazelle Finance targets specialty food products companies that produce premium, export quality products,” said the CIO of Gazelle Finance, Natia Janelidze. “MANNA is a good example of the critical role that Gazelle Finance plays in developing the supply chain in the agribusiness sector in Georgia.”
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Gazelle Finance,” said the owner and director of Manna, Irakli Gurchumelia. “We are in a rapid growth phase of development and leveraging this relationship will help us to accelerate our export capabilities in the region and in Europe.”
MANNA’s production facilities are located in the village Saguramo. The company is ISO certified and maintains an advanced food safety management system compliant with EU import requirements. MANNA sources its natural and organic tea leaves and fruit directly from Georgian farmers. The company produces a full range of premium quality natural tea products, including: Black Tea, Green Tea, Green Tea with Mint, Black Tea with Bilberry Leaf, Black Tea with Thyme, Black Tea with Rose Hip, Fruit Teas. MANNA plans to add different variety of teas and other products in the coming months.
“Georgia has a rich history of producing and exporting high quality tea products all over the world, though during the Soviet period, quality was often sacrificed for quantity,” said the owner and director of MANNA, Irakli Gurchumelia. “The mission of MANNA is to return Georgia to its golden age of tea production, with an emphasis on sourcing the highest quality tea leaves, grown naturally by local farmers in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains.”
Western Georgia boasts ideal growing conditions for natural and organic tea plantations, where MANNA maintains deep sourcing connections to a local network of farmers. This region’s sub-tropical climate combined with cool evenings and a short and cold winter serves to naturally prevent disease and control pests. In addition, the combination of western Georgia’s acidic soil with high altitude, alpine farmland, particularly in the Guria and Adjara regions, produces a much more delicate and complex flavor in the tea leaf.
Georgia’s tea industry dates back to the 1850s and the traditional Silk Road trading routes, when intrepid Georgian and Chinese entrepreneurs identified regions in Western Georgia that had quite similar climatic conditions to the famous tea growing regions of southern China. By the turn of the of the 20th century, Georgian tea became famous in Europe, particularly with the Russian aristocracy, and its market penetration further expanded during the Soviet Period, when it became a top four producer in the world.
Gazelle Finance is an investment company, that finances high-growth, small and medium size enterprises in the Eurasia Region. The company seeks to identify gaps and barriers in frontier capital markets and provide a combined financing and business advisory solution to ambitious entrepreneurs. By investing and partnering with these entrepreneurs, Gazelle Finance helps local markets and economies to expand, while generating commercial returns for its investors.
The company was founded in 2016 with the support of the ministry of agriculture of Georgia with the objective to create a locally produced, premium grade, export quality product using locally sourced tea leaves. Manna built a world class tea processing and packing plant in 2017 in the Saguramo district with production capacity for loose tea of 200 tons (3.5 M boxes) and for tea bags 10 tons (500K boxes) per year. The company is ISO certified (ISO 22000) and compliant with EU importation standards. The company produces a wide range of natural, organic, black, green, fruit and herbal teas under the brand name “MANNA” and exports to the EU, Russia, and Ukraine.
Address: 8a Petre Melikishvili /1 Erekle Tatishvili Str. 0179, Tbilisi, Georgia
T: +995 32 2 243 432