Releaf, a tech company that helps consumer goods manufacturers in Africa obtain quality ingredients for their factories, has successfully raised $3.3 million in a Pre-Series A funding round.
The funding will be used to introduce two new technologies: Kraken II, a portable version of the company’s popular palm nut de-sheller, and SITE, a geospatial mapping application that helps businesses determine the most profitable location for food processing assets.
The funding round was led by Samurai Incubate Africa, which invested again after leading Releaf’s seed round, with participation from Consonance Investment Managers.
In addition, Stephen Pagliuca (Chairman of Bain Capital) and Jeff Ubben (Board member at World Wildlife Fund and Founder of Inclusive Capital Partners) also contributed to the funding.
SITE was developed in collaboration with Professor David Lobell of Stanford University, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and Director of the Centre on Food Security and the Environment, whose team improved the process for identifying the age of oil palm trees in Nigeria.
This analysis provided essential yield data for the first layer of SITE.
The application combines advanced geospatial mapping tools, Releaf’s proprietary data on soil type, rainfall, farmer productivity, and data from organizations such as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to provide a comprehensive view of farming activity.
Releaf plans to use the comprehensive data set provided by SITE to train reinforcement learning models that will determine the most efficient placement of supply chain infrastructure for consumer goods manufacturers, establishing a strong connection with Africa’s decentralized farming system.
Releaf uses supply chain technology to process palm nuts.
Since its launch in 2021, it has seen significant growth in revenue and has secured numerous supply contracts from major consumer goods manufacturers.
Its valuation has also increased in the past year. Its technology aims to promote inclusive success and industrialization in Africa, which is expected to be home to 40% of the world’s population by the end of the century.
The fast-moving consumer goods market is expected to be a major economic opportunity in Africa and Releaf’s technology is designed to take advantage of this opportunity.
According to Uzoma Ayogu, CTO and co-founder of Releaf, “SITE and Kraken II are the next steps in our plan to fundamentally transform the efficiency of agricultural supply chains in Africa and we are excited to have partnered with an exceptional cohort of investors and collaborators to roll out these technologies. To make food supply chains profitable, we must maximize extraction yields with leading processing technology and minimize logistics costs by bringing processing capacity closer to farmers. Before Releaf, stakeholders had to choose between one or the other – large factories had great technology but were far away, leaving most farmers with rudimentary technology to process their crops. We’re now able to maximize both.”