Kenyan business-to-business food chain startup, Twiga Foods, has just raised a 30 million dollar round to expand its operations in Africa.
Twiga raised this round through a combination of equity and debt funding. The effort was led by Goldman Sachs.
The food chain startup has provided Kenyan farmers and food manufacturers access to modern markets that are fair and have good demand for their produce.
In previous rounds, Twiga received some initial funding from Goldman Sachs and the finance company has announced that it is happy to be backing Twiga Foods in its growth and expansion across Africa.
How Does Twiga Operate?
Twiga’s business model revolves around two main parties: the farmer and the vendor. Taking the farmer’s produce and giving it to the vendors without need for middlemen or intermediaries of any sort.
According to Grant Brooke, CEO of Twiga Foods, the reason the company was founded was because “things were just too expensive”.
He found that the increase in cost was due to elements that could be removed; like the charges that middlemen demanded their part in the food chain.
Grant and his co-founder started by creating an organised market for banana and expanded to potato, mango and onion.
The Financial Journey so far
As Twiga continues to expand, it raised several rounds of investments. Earlier in June, Creadev, a French investment firm, invested $5 million in the food chain startup.
Late in 2018, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, TLcom, and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) announced a $10 million investment in the Kenyan startup.
Altogether, Twiga has raised a total of $67.1 million to aid its operations in Kenya. The latest of its fundraising occurred during a Series B round on October 28.
The startup has 19 investors on its extended team currently with Alphamundi and Creadev being the most recent investors to join since it launched in 2013.
Before launching out with Twiga Foods, Grant worked as a researcher at the University of Oxford. Besides being the co-founder of Twiga Foods, Peter Njonjo is also a member of Endeavor Kenya.
Other startups have also taken it upon themselves to tackle the obstacles in the Nigerian agriculture sector, like Peatuce.
Peatuce Foods developed its solution for the distribution of local farm produce in Nigeria. This startup helps the farmers have access to better tools and technologies to aid their farming.
The distribution challenges in the agricultural field still abound, and Twiga’s expansion to other parts of Africa may be one catalyst that will lead to better technologies and improved returns for the farmer, vendor and consumer.
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