Kenyan agritech startup goes pan-African with US$30M investment round
Kenya-based food logistics startup Twiga Foods is planning an international expansion following a US$30m funding round led by U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs, Quartz Africa reported.
The B2B produce distributor is aiming to waste and address the lack of effective distribution across African countries.
Twiga Food has raised US$23.7 million in a Series B round led by US investment bank Goldman Sachs. The round also saw participation from existing investors TLcom Capital, International Finance Corporation and Creadev.
The company also raised an additional US$6m in debt. The latest funding follows a US$10m round last November.
Twiga operates a two-fold business-to-business model. One part sees it allowing retailers to order fresh produce from local farmers through its mobile-based marketplace. The other part then manages supply through its logistics arm.
The company currently distributes food to over 8,000 retailers across Kenya.
After five years of operations in Kenya, Peter Njonjo, Twiga CEO, says the latest funding will allow it to start “building a foundation” for international expansion, set to begin next year. It will start first with Francophone West Africa in countries where food prices remain a major share of the average family’s spending.
The big-picture goal for Twiga though, Njonjo says, is to expand into Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and largest economy, where inefficient farming practices remain a problem.
Twiga’s launch in Nigeria will see it join local agribusiness startups offering tech-based solutions by providing farmers increased technical support and capital.
“Essentially the problem we’re trying to solve is reducing how much it costs for the average African to spend on food,” Njonjo was quoted saying. “Soon, food security will not be about availability of food but will be about the cost of food in our cities.”