Twiga Foods, a Kenyan mobile-based business-to-business food supply platform, has announced a $10 million investment led by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), private equity firm TLcom, and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme.
Twiga Foods, which was founded by Grant Brooke in 2014, links smallholder farmers in rural Kenya to informal retail vendors in cities. With Twiga’s mobile platform, vendors can order fresh produce from farmers across Kenya at the most competitive prices. Twiga will spend the money on increasing the number of vendors it serves and creating a formal farmer-market linkage.
“The IFC and TLcom investment will enable us to reach more farmers, improve efficiency in service delivery and increase access to high-quality products and foodstuffs for vendors,” Grant Brooke, Twiga Foods’s CEO, said in a press release. “We will continue in our mission to provide affordable, quality and safe food to Kenya’s urban consumers and reliable markets for farmers across the country.”
Last year, Twiga raised a $10.3 million round from international investors and secured $2 million in grant funding from organizations such as USAID and the GSMA.
Twiga works with more than 13,000 farmers and 6,000 vendors in Kenya. The company started off connecting banana farmers to vendors in cities, but it now works with other products such as cabbage, mango, potato, onions and tomatoes. Twiga operates collection centers across Kenya, as well as a central pack house with cold storage facilities. The company also owns a large fleet of mobilized trucks and vans for swift collection and distribution of produce, thereby creating an efficient logistics system that limits Twiga’s post-harvest losses to 5 percent, as compared to 30% at informal markets, where many Kenyan farmers usually sell their produce. Farmers who sign up with Twiga receive payment within 24 hours.