Kenyan B2B e-commerce platform Twiga has raised a US$50 million Series C funding round to help it scale its affordable food solutions across Africa.
Twiga is one of the best-funded tech startups on the continent, securing a US$10.3 million Series A funding round in 2017, a further US$10 million in November 2018, US$34.75 million across two rounds in 2019, and US$29.4 million in debt funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) last year.
It has now banked a US$50 million Series C round, led by Creadev, the French investment company. The round also includes significant follow-on investment from tech-oriented shareholders Juven, TLcom Capital, IFC Ventures, and DOB Equity, while OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I and Endeavor Catalyst Fund participated as new investors.
The transaction was also the opportunity for certain early investors to access liquidity via a US$30 million secondary sale, generating up to a 100 percent annualized return.
Founded in 2014, Twiga is a B2B food distribution company that builds fair and reliable markets for agricultural producers and retailers through transparency, efficiency, and technology.
The startup operates a B2B e-commerce system to simplify the supply chain between fresh food producers, FMCG manufacturers, and retailers, which removes the need for many intermediaries, significantly lowering the cost of food for consumers.
Twiga plans to expand its offering to the rest of East Africa in the coming months and West Africa in 2022. It is also deploying part of the funding towards a proof of concept to develop its own fresh produce, using precision agriculture and satellite imagery to drive up crop yields, and plans to start selling the domestic horticultural crops from February 2022 across East Africa.
The company is working with development finance partners to find ways to scale this model as a separate business across Africa, with Twiga acting as off-taker of the produce. Part of the funding will also support the rollout of low-cost high quality manufactured food and non-food products under the Twiga brand by the end of 2021.
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