Twiga Foods, a Kenyan agricultural tech start-up, has raised Ksh. 5.56 billion (USD 50 milion) from international investors for its planned East and West African expansion.
The latest fundraising was led by private equity firm Creadev, and included Africa-focused firm such as TLcom, IFC ventures, DOB Equity and Goldman Sachs’ spinoff Juven. First time investors OP Finnfund Global and Endeavor Catalyst Fund were also part of the fundraising round.
The funding follows the company’s announcement to expand operations to other countries including Rwanda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana. This is yet to happen though amid disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Twiga Foods intends to use the raised funds 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.
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. This helps to move the goods faster, and in the process help make the products more affordable and accessible.
Earlier in June this year, Twiga Foods updated its vendor platform, Soko Yetu, to offer more features that will enhance vendors experiences and help grow the business. Soko Yetu is Twiga’s e-commerce platform that allows Twiga’s vendors to access products from various suppliers.
The platform 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 inception in 2014, Twiga has raised billions of shillings including equity and loan deals from international investors such as the International Finance Corporation.