Twiga Foods has received a $10 million investment from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP).
The funding exercise was co-led by a group of previous Twiga investors, including Wamda Capital, DOB Equity. 1776 and Adolph H.Lundin, as well as IFC and TLcom.
The details of the deal dictate that Wale Ayeni, who heads IFC’s venture capital tasks in Africa, will join the Twiga board.
The firm launched its trade in Kenya sometime in 2014. Its primary goal was to solve fragmentation in the produce market. At that time, Twiga distributed bananas in Eastlands during its pilot phase. Afterward, it expanded its turf to other towns, besides distributing more agricultural products such as tomatoes, cabbage, mango, potato, and onion. These processes are supported by mobile phone technology that continues to increase efficiency in supply chains.
According to Grant Brooke, CEO Twiga, the investment will enable the firm to push that efficiency to higher heights.
“The TLcom and IFC investment will enable us to reach more farmers, improve efficiency in service delivery and increase access to high-quality products and foodstuffs for vendors. We will continue in our mission to provide affordable, quality, and safe food to Kenya’s urban consumers, and reliable markets for farmers across the country,” noted Brooke.
Furthermore, Twiga says the investments will come in handy in expanding and honing its operations, as well as offering new services.
At the moment, the startup serves more than 13,000 farmers and 6,000 vendors in Kenya.
“Access to markets is a key concern for smallholder farmers across Africa, many of whom live in remote areas. IFC’s investment in Twiga supports a disruptive startup that is helping create a more transparent, efficient supply chain, which connects farmers directly to markets, helping them earn more,” said Nikunj Jinsi, IFC’s Global Head of Venture Capital.
Twiga has been busy in the past couple of months. It announced a key interest in leveraging blockchain services to offer microloans for vendors, as well as signing a multi-million dollar deal for a distribution network.