Kenya’s fresh farm food distribution company Twiga Foods is planning to expand to West Africa, after acquiring $30 million (approximately Ksh3 billion) from lenders and investors led by Goldman Sachs.
$6.25 million of the funding was received in form of convertible debt and $23.75 million in equity, classified as a Series B round.
“This funding enables us to invest in our technology and organization to tackle the inefficiencies in Africa’s domestic food production and distribution ecosystems; a $300bn informal and fragmented market that is estimated to grow to $1trn by 2030. With the support of our investors, we are developing technology-driven commercial solutions and cooperating with existing industry players to solve the challenge of food security in Africa,” said Peter Njonjo, CEO and Co-founder at Twiga Foods.
The company intends to use the funds to set up a distribution center in Nairobi and other cities in Kenya, including Mombasa. Twiga is also targeting Pan-African expansion by third quarter 2020.
“We’re working on French West Africa…we see significant opportunity in those markets,”added Mr Njonjo, adding that the new countries will be named next year.
With Sub-Saharan Africa’s population set to double over the next 30 years, access to reliable and affordable food sources for consumers and guaranteed markets for farmers are essential for effective food distribution.
Prof Hamadi Boga Principal Secretary of the Kenya State Department for Crop Development and Agricultural Research said, “As our population grows and urbanisation continues, it is essential that we can provide access to affordable food for as many Kenyans as possible, as well as support and promote sustainable agriculture. We commend them on their impact so far, as well as their ability to attract investment to Kenya.”
Twiga Foods is a technology enabled business to business (B2B) food distribution platform that builds markets for agricultural producers, food manufacturers and retailers through online connections.
Co-founded in Nairobi in 2014 by Njonjo and Grant Brooke, Twiga Foods serves around 3,000 outlets a day with produce through a network of 17,000 farmers and 8,000 vendors.