Kenyan fresh farm food distribution startup Twiga foods has raised Sh5.56 billion from various Western and Africa-based investors. The funds will be channelled towards the company’s expansion into East and West Africa.
Last year, Twiga foods announced that it would be expanding into new markets in Rwanda, Tanania, Nigeria and Ghana. The expansion was however slowed down by the Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted business in several countries.
“We’ve been fairly successful in Kenya. So, we want to consolidate our dominant position, clear out our proof of concept and expand to the neighbouring countries,” Twiga Foods Co-founder and CEO, Peter Njonjo told TechCrunch.
The company is also looking to invest in an in-house supply chain for commodities such as tomatoes whose supply has been fluctuating amid the pandemic. In addition, the startup also wants to venture into the production of its own brand of low-cost manufactured food and food products by end of 2021.
“It is not just working with smallholder farmers; we will work with them but on some value chains. But we’re looking at having larger commercial farms integrated into our supply chain,” Mr Njonjo said.
Twiga Foods connects the produce from Kenya’s farmers to pricing and market places more efficiently. The company currently serves about 3,000 outlets per day with a network of 17,000 farmers and 33,000 vendors in Nairobi, Uasin Gishu, Embu, Meru, Kirinyaga, Machakos, Nakuru and Kiambu counties.
Since inception in 2014, Twiga foods has raised billions of shillings including equity and loan deals from international investors such as the International Finance Corporation.
The latest fundraising was led by led by private equity firm Creadev. TLcom- an Africa-focused firm, IFC ventures, DOB Equity and Goldman Sachs’ spinoff Juven as well as first time investors OP Finnfund Global and Endeavor Catalyst Fund also participated.