The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is set to invest $3 million (Sh300 million) in Kenya’s mobile-based food delivery firm Twiga Foods as part of the company’s efforts to raise more than Sh700 million from multiple investors.
Twiga runs a mobile cashless platform through which vendors can order and pay for fresh food and vegetables from farmers, resulting in lower prices and more efficient supply chains by from elimination of multiple layers of middlemen. The stakes that IFC and its partners will take in Twiga Foods was not disclosed.
“IFC, acting for its own account … is considering to invest a minimum of US$ 3 million (Sh300 million) alongside other investors, including TLCom who will invest up to US$ 4 million (Sh400 million) in the company,” the global financier said in an investment disclosure statement.
TLCom is a venture capital firm with €200 million (Sh23.5 billion) in assets under management and has offices in Nairobi, Lagos and London.
Twiga shareholders are Peter Njonjo, Grant Brooke, DOB Equity, Omidyar Network, Wamda Capital, 1776 Seed Investors, Alpha Mundi and Blue Haven Initiative.
The company, which launched operations in 2014, plans to use the funds to scale up its operations and introduce new offerings such as credit services. Twiga started off matching vendors with banana farmers and has grown to other produce such as mangoes, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and cabbages.
“The project will enhance integration of different stakeholders in the agricultural value chain working towards increasing farmer productivity,” IFC said.
“In addition, the project could increase access to new services (for example credit) by reducing informality and demonstrating that farmers can be reached in a commercially sustainable way through technology.”
Twiga says it has sold more than 200 million bananas and works with some 2,600 vendors. Farmers are attracted to the platform which offers transparency in prices and helps increase their sales.