Kenyan mobile distribution platform Twiga Foods has secured $5 million in funding from French investors and plans to grow its ecosystem of farmers and retailers.
The $5 million is from Paris-based Creadev, an investment firm with offices in Nairobi, Shanghai and New York. The investment firm is backed by one of France’s richest families, the Mulliez family, according to a press release.
The Mulliez family made their fortune by building a retail empire that includes one of Europe’s biggest supermarket chains, Auchan, known as France’s Walmart, Bloomberg reports.
The family holding company, Association Familiale Mulliez, controls retail businesses including home improvement chain Leroy Merlin and sports group Decathlon.
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The funding represents Creadev’s first investment in Africa, according to a post on LinkedIn.
Twiga Foods is a cashless platform that allows vendors to order and pay for vegetables and fresh food from smallholder farmers, resulting in a more efficient supply chain.
By using tech to connect supply with demand, Twiga reduces the need for middlemen who add cost and inefficiency to the supply chain.
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The company has worked with more than 13,000 farmers and 6,000 vendors in Kenya over the last four years, Forbes reports.
The cash injection will go towards helping Twiga improve its support to small-scale farmers in Kenya, BusinessDailyAfrica reports.
Twiga was founded in 2014 by Peter Njonjo and American Grant Brooke. The Kenyan mobile produce platform has raised a total of $35.4 million in funding in nine rounds, according to CrunchBase.
Njonjo recently rejoined the company as CEO after serving as president of Coca-Cola’s West and Central Africa business, where he spent 21 years of his career.
In November 2018, Twiga Foods raised a $10 million Series B investment led by U.S.-based International Finance Corporation, IFC reported.
The 2018 raise included TLcom Capital and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program with participation from previous investors Wamda Capital, DOB Equity, 1776 and Swedish oil and mining entrepreneur Adolph H Lundin.
Twiga Foods is a graduate of Ghana’s Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, a training program, seed fund and Africa’s largest tech incubator.