Kenya: start-up Twiga Foods raises $30 million

Twiga Foods, the Kenyan platform specializing in connecting smallholder farmers with traders and delivering fruit and vegetables, has just completed a $30 million fundraising campaign.

In detail, the start-up says that $23.75 million was raised in Series B1 through the participation of investors such as the International Finance Corporation, TLcom Capital and Creadev. An additional $6 million, negotiated in the form of debt, has also been secured with the OPIC and AlphaMundi funds. This new operation brings to more than $55 million the funds raised by the company since its inception in 2013.

1 In the field of private equity, Series B is an external equity financing that occurs at a time when a company’s business model is already proven and it needs money to export itself.

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Twiga, a leading startup of the East African agricultural scene, uses an online platform to connect fruit and vegetable producers with retailers, with the aim of leveraging technology to stimulate demand for agricultural products. The company’s vehicles deliver fruit and vegetables to buyers within 18 hours of receiving orders in the database, while Twiga pays farmers within 48 hours using mobile payment solutions such as M-Pesa. With regard to the funds raised, the company’s management stated that they will be « invested in upgrading the technology associated with the Twiga platform and creating a new distribution centre » that will include cold rooms, conveyors and other sorting infrastructure, as Twiga seeks to perfect its business model and export it to new markets. When asked by Reuters, Peter Njonjo, the CEO and co-founder of the start-up, confirmed that he was beginning to « look at other cities on the continent ». Cautious, however, the manager refused to give an estimate of the company’s valuation or to indicate whether it was already making profits.