Rwandan food logistics startup GET IT has secured a Series A funding round to expand its operations and give it a platform for future regional growth.
Launched in 2014, GET IT combines food production, manufacturing, and distribution to build an integrated food ecosystem.
The startup leads with domestic distribution to commercial kitchens and hospitality outlets, specialising in fresh fruits and vegetables, while it also offers a full in-stock portfolio of dry goods tailored to commercial kitchen needs.
“On top of our instock products, we provide meat, dairy, seafood, cleaning products, amenities, and other consumables for our hospitality and restaurant clients. We work with clients from Marriott, to Wilderness Safaris, One&Only, Singita, and Rwandair,” founder Lauren Nkuranga told Disrupt Africa.
“Through our work in fresh produce, we have not only developed a strong network of 50 outgrowers, we have built significant backward linkages into the horticultural supply chain.”
GET IT also has a primary production arm, whereby it grows its own fresh horticultural produce, while it also partners with manufacturers to do simple processing of the products it grows for export and domestic distribution.
The startup closed a fully subscribed Series A round, the amount of which is undisclosed in June, led by VestedWorld with Chandaria Capital following on top of an existing investment in the company. The remaining funders are individuals.
“The round will enable GET IT to expand to a fully articulated model of hospitality distribution, manufacturing partnerships, and primary horticultural production in Rwanda. We anticipate this fully articulated model will provide the platform for future regional expansion,” Nkuranga said.
“Our goal is to be the leading food logistics company among East, West, and Central Africa.”
GET IT started life as a household retail distribution company, specialising in grocery delivery.
“I did the first 500 deliveries out of the back of my car in Kigali. Through 2015 we discovered that there was no “broadline” food service distribution company, not only in Rwanda, but in all of East, West, and Central Africa. In 2016 we transitioned the company to be solely dedicated to broadline food service distribution, with a specialty on fresh fruits and vegetables. We built a network of outgrowers to provide over 100 varieties of produce to high end hotels, restaurants, and commercial catering companies,” Nkuranga said.
The company supplies commercial kitchens throughout Rwanda – not only in Kigali.
“We also send trucks to the Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, Lake Kivu resorts and Nyungwe National Park,” said Nkuranga.
“As we built backward linkages into our supply chain, we discovered significant barriers to growth with our outgrower network. We also saw significant opportunity to grow our product for export and domestic distribution.”