This is according to Business Daily. However, Business Daily also reports that the stakes that IFC and its partners will take in Twiga Foods was not disclosed.
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.
“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.”
An alumni member of Nairobi Garage community, 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.
Launched in 2014, Twiga Foods uses technology to consolidate the fragmented purchasing power of urban retailers, saving them a trip to the market by delivering to their doorstep better quality and better-priced stock.
The mobile-based supply platform allows vendors who operate kiosks and market stalls in Nairobi to order the supply of products at low-cost, timely than what informal markets can provide.
These products include bananas, potatoes, tomatoes and onions and they process over 4000 orders weekly. In 2017, Twiga raised a US$10.3 million Series A funding round to enable it to increase the number of vendors it serves.
In April 2018, partnered IBM Research to extend access to microloans to 220 food stall retailers across Kenya using a blockchain-based financing system.
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