US based impact investor Gray Matters Capital has announced that it has funded Taimba, a Nairobi based B2B Agri-Tech start-up that runs a mobile-based cashless platform connecting rural small scale farmers to urban retailers under its gender lens portfolio GMC coLABS to the tune of Ksh. 10 Million.
Taimba sources agricultural products directly from the rural small-scale farmers and delivers directly to informal green grocers, schools, hospitals and restaurants within Nairobi, thereby removing the middlemen and shrinking the agricultural value chain.
It currently has over 2,000 farmers in its portfolio and engages with 15 farmer SACCOs (Savings and Credit Co-operatives) selling produce such as potatoes, tomatoes, cabbages and carrots on one side and 310 customers on the other comprising informal green grocers (85%), restaurants and cafés (10%) and Schools and hospitals (5%) based out in Nairobi.
Taimba has open contracts with the farmers and offers them 20-30% higher prices as compared to brokers, helping generate better ROI along with direct linkage to urban markets. This also helps reduce post-harvest wastage by 50%. To tackle the problem of constrained cash flow, Taimba partners with financial institutions to provide loans for farmers to purchase certified seeds and fertilizers.
As for retailers, Taimba offers them the convenience of doorstep delivery of the produce, helping them to save on 3-4 hours of sourcing time and nearly US$ 2-3 on logistics. Besides that, they are assured of supply of high quality farm fresh produce at lower than market rates. Taimba has also rolled out a microloan facility for its retail customers to help them expand their businesses and to overcome liquidity challenges.
At the same time they have partnered with Technoserve the international non-profit organization that promotes business solutions to poverty, as its farmer outreach partner.
Dominique Kavuisya, Co-Founder and CEO, Taimba had this to say, “We are delighted to become a part of Gray Matters Capital’s portfolio through the coLABS funding. This is a validation of the work which we have been doing and the impact on-ground delivering value to vendors and farmers through our mobile platform. The funding is a shot in the arm for us to strengthen our warehouse infrastructure by setting up cold storage facilities and also our delivery logistics so that we can cater to 6 new markets within Nairobi.”
The start-up is also planning to pilot in Mombasa and Kisumu city by next year and will also look at introducing new products such as fruits, nuts and eggs as part of its farm product catalogue.