Twiga, a B2B e-commerce food distribution platform, has announced a $50 million Series C round to drive its operations in East Africa and other neighboring countries.
Twiga plans to use the funding its proof of concept which aims at taking off over 30% off the price that consumers pay for popular domestic plant-based food products.
It also plans to use part of the funding to roll out low-cost manufactured food and non-food products under its brand before the end of the year.
The funding round was led by Creadev, a family office and private equity firm that is based in Paris and Nairobi.
Participants in the Series C round included most of the investors who took part in Twiga’s 2019 Series B round, as well as OP Finnfund Global and EndeavorCatalyst Fund which are first-time investors.
Africa-focused firms TLcom, DOB Equity, Juven (Goldman Sachs’ spinoff), and IFC Ventures, wrote follow-on cheques too.
The round also put forward a merger of Twiga’s cap table where earlier investors got some liquidity through a $30 million secondary sale.
In a statement, Africa director at Creadev, Pierre Fauvet, said “We are deeply convinced in Twiga’s potential to revolutionize informal retail across Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Twiga has raised more than $100 million in both debt and equity financing rounds, and this funding is coming after its $30 million Series B round, which comprised $23.75 million equity and $6.25 million debt, in 2019.
Founded in 2014, Twiga is using technology to build food and retail distribution supply chains in Africa, beginning with Kenya.
It started out by linking vendors and outlets with farmers through an app to access different agricultural produce, but in 2019, it began connecting FMCGs and manufacturers with retailers in Kenya to increase its revenue, making the company compete with regional players like Sokowatch and MarketForce.
Speaking on the company’s platform, Peter Njonjo, CEO, Twiga, said, “We see ourselves as building a one-stop-shop for the informal retailer and all their needs. So that’s what we’re evolving into as a business.”
The startup boasts of over 100,000 customers across Kenya while delivering more than 600 metric tons of products to more than 10,000 retailers daily.
It has more than 1,000 employees and seeks to expand to other East African markets — Uganda and Tanzania — before the end of the year.
The startup is currently working with development finance partners on how to scale its proof of concept where it hopes to serve as an off-taker to sell horticultural crops across East Africa from February 2022.
According to Njonjo, meeting the targets will position Twiga for a bigger fundraise sometime next year, while it sets its eyes on other markets — Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and DRC Congo.