Vendease, a Y Combinator-backed digital platform that allows restaurants in Africa to buy supplies, access financial services and power their business operations, has raised $30 million in an equity and debt funding round to consolidate its growth and operations in Nigeria and Ghana as well as support its expansion across the continent.
The series round was co-led by TLcom and Partech, a rare joint investment by two of the biggest Africa-focused funds. It also saw participation from VentureSouq, Hustle fund, Hack VC, GFR Fund, Kube VC, Magic Fund and Kairos Angels, who re-invested after participating in the previous round.
The fund will help the digital procurement company to enable restaurants in 8 cities across Nigeria and Ghana to buy food supplies at considerably cheaper rates than the open market prices, with a guaranteed 12-hour delivery.
This solves the problem of food accessibility and efficiency in these regions.
According to the announcement by the startup, the round was raised from the local finance market. As a result of their investment, Andreata Muforo (Partner at TLcom) and Cyril Collon (General Partner at Partech) will join Vendease’s board as new directors.
Commenting on the funding, Tunde Kara, CEO and co-founder of Vendease, said;
“our mission is to enable the efficient flow of food across the continent, from point of production to point of consumption. It is more than just placing orders for supplies, we want to transform how the entire sector works and remove the bottlenecks that stunt the growth of restaurants and food businesses.”
“With greater efficiency in the supply chain, we believe we can unlock more growth opportunities across the board, which is why we are excited to have raised this round, led by two of Africa’s biggest VCs, who understand what it takes to power such an ambitious mission”, he added.
The digital platform has moved more than 400,000 metric tonnes of food through its platform, helping its users save more than $2,000,000 in procurement costs and more than 10,000 procurement man-hours. Its data has also helped them reduce wastage from overstocking by an additional $485,000.
Commenting on the raise, Andreata Muforo, Partner at TLcom, expressed commitment to working with Vendease to provide and build a platform that delivers a very affordable and convenient way to access food deliverables while delivering an efficient procurement process across Africa.
“Restaurants and food businesses play a vital role in communities across the continent and Vendease is on a mission to bring affordability, convenience, and reliability to these businesses and builds a platform that allows the wider food sector to optimise their operations. We look forward to working alongside the team as they pursue the next phase of growth and unlock significant value in Africa’s fragmented food supply chain.”
In his comment, Cyril Collon, General Partner at Partech, noted that Vendease was addressing a very critical issue on the continent with its model.
“Vendease is delivering vital solutions that impact critical issues around the food system in Africa,”
“We are thrilled to be working with them to take these solutions to more restaurants and food businesses across the continent. We see huge scope for growth in Nigeria and beyond and we are very optimistic about what can be achieved”, he mentioned further.
Africa’s restaurants and food producers currently provide daily meals to 700 million people around the continent. However, these businesses lose $100 billion every year as a result of high and unstable supplier costs, a lack of data to guide purchasing choices, theft and wastage, and a lack of liquidity to finance purchases.
Vendease is addressing this by building an operating system that automates the flow of food from farm to restaurant, optimises business operations across the value chain through accurate data deployment, reduces wastage and drives profitability.
This is achieved when restaurant owners simply download the app, complete the registration process in a few clicks and they will be able to access all the benefits of Vendease’s platform. They can also access working capital through Vendease’s Buy-Now-Pay-Later offering to maximise the growth opportunities available to them.
Vendease’s solutions have delivered significant savings for its users and provided relative stability for their stock levels. Over the last 12 months, despite ongoing inflation and global shortage in the food supply.
With the additional funding, more restaurants and food businesses in Africa will be able to take advantage of existing services, and new services and solutions that will spur development along the entire food value chain will also be created.
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