Kenya agricultural tech start-up Twiga Foods has raised $49 (Sh5.56 billion) from international investors for East and West African expansion.
The latest fundraising, which was led by private equity firm Creadev, also included Africa-focused firm such as TLcom, IFC ventures, DOB Equity and Goldman Sachs’ spinoff Juven as well as first time investors OP Finnfund Global and Endeavor Catalyst Fund.
This comes after the company last year announced plans to expand to countries such as Rwanda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana. This is yet to happen though amid disruption caused by the Covid-19.
“We’ve been fairly successful in Kenya. So, we want to consolidate our dominant position, clear out our proof of concept and expand to the neighbouring countries,” the company’s chief executive office and co-founder Peter Njonjo told TechCrunch, a US-based tech and startups news platform.
Part of the cash will also be used to develop an in-house supply chain of commodities such as tomatoes, which have been hit by disruptions. It also seeks to invest in low cost manufactured food and non-food products under its brand name by the end of this year.
“It is not just working with smallholder farmers; we will work with them but on some value chains. But we’re looking at having larger commercial farms integrated into our supply chain,” Mr Njonjo said.
Twiga uses technology to aggregate demand and streamline logistics in distribution of farm produce such as bananas, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, mangoes and cabbages, to small-scale vegetable vendors in city estates, thus helping make products more affordable and increasing sales for vendors.
It serves about 33,000 vendors every month with an average of seven orders per week per vendor, and also operates in Uasin Gishu, Embu, Meru, Kirinyaga, Machakos, Nakuru and Kiambu counties.
Since its founding in 2014, the company has raised billions of shillings including equity and loan deals from international investors such as the International Finance Corporation.
Business Daily & Triple A