Twiga Foods is eyeing Cote d'Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as its entry points for its planned expansion into the Central and West African markets in the next two years.
The Kenyan agriculture start-up has been growing its operations in East Africa after raising new funds in a series of cash calls to investors, having launched operations in Uganda earlier this year.
The firm announced last year that it had raised Sh5.56 billion from international investors to fund the East and West African expansion. Since its founding in 2014, the company has raised billions of shillings including equity and loan deals from international investors such as the International Finance Corporation.
“We just started operations in Uganda, and we are also in the advanced stages of joining West Africa specifically in Cote d'Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Twiga Foods East Africa's Yebeltal Getachew.
He spoke yesterday during the launch of the Twiga Foods Last Mile Distribution Expansion Project, which will see the firm lease up to 300 Isuzu trucks to facilitate faster delivery of fresh food products.
The firm and its lessors took stock of 15 commercial trucks from Isuzu Kenya valued at Sh80 million, whose purchase has been financed by NCBA.
Fresh fruits and vegetable producers are normally constrained by high input and transportation costs, in addition to other barriers that slow down domestic deliveries and the export of goods abroad. Disruptions in the supply chain could result in huge losses since the goods are perishable.
Twiga Foods is among a growing number of tech-enabled firms that are seeking to disrupt food and other consumer supply chains, connecting producers to consumers and reducing the number of middlemen.
The firm has more than 140,000 vendors, served through a fleet that covers a cumulative 12,000 kilometres daily and handles more than 2 million kilos of products daily.