Aquaculture platform Victory Farms has received Sh4.7 billion ($35 million) from venture capital (VC) investors to expand its operations in Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.
The end-to-end aquaculture platform operating in East Africa connects producers, distributors and consumers of tilapia fish.
The funds were raised by investors led by Creadev, a global VC and growth equity evergreen investor, which will enable the company to create more jobs, grow enterprises in the supply chain and offer nutritious meals across the region.
“The Series B investment will enable Victory Farms to scale up our platform for sustainable, affordable protein production and expand our food print within the region,” said Victory Farms founder and chief executive Joseph Rehmann.
Other investors include Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund, DOB Equity, Endeavor Catalyst Fund and Hesabu Capital.
The company’s founders and angel investors, including Mr Rehmann, Steve Moran, Kamran Ahmad, and Hans den Bieman also invested in the transaction.
Victory Farms, which operates 80 branches currently, ventured into commercial cage fish farming — instead of digging fish ponds on the land, a common model of fish farming in Kenya — with critical support from the county and national governments.
Its mission is to build a commercial tilapia platform that can feed millions of Africans with affordable, accessible, and healthy protein over the next two decades.
The aquaculture platform presents a scalable solution to East Africa’s nutritional security challenge where there exists a supply gap of one million metric tons of fish per annum.
It is estimated that aquaculture industry supplies meet only three percent of the deficit, with experts noting investment in sustainable African aquaculture can help reduce reliance on fish imports.
“We are delighted to support Victory Farms, the largest end-to-end white protein solution in Kenya and a key driver of climate-smart growth in the food sector across the region” added Tom Rostand, Investment Director Africa at Creadev.
The company expects to launch its aqua-feed mill joint venture Samakgro later this year, which will enable local procurement of 35,000 metric tons of feed ingredients per year.
The feed mill is under construction in Naivasha and will operate fully on renewable energy and create more than 40,000 jobs in the regional agriculture sector.