Kenya agri-tech startup Twiga Foods has secured KES3.2 billion (US$29.4 million) in debt funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support more than 300 irrigated medium-scale contract farmers to complement Twiga’s seasonal smallholder farmer supply base.
Founded in 2014, Twiga Foods is a business to business food distribution company that builds fair and reliable markets for agricultural producers and retailers through transparency, efficiency and technology.
The startup is one of the best-funded on the continent, securing a US$10.3 million Series A funding round in 2017, a further US$10 million in November 2018, and US$34.75 million across two rounds in 2019 (see here and here).
It has now secured further capital from the IFC’s Global SME Finance Facility through unfunded risk sharing facilities (RSFs) with tier 1 commercial banks, with the first phase being led by Kenya Commercial Bank.
Twiga will use the funding to support more than 300 irrigated medium-scale contract farmers to complement its seasonal smallholder farmer supply base. This will stabilise year-round fresh fruit and vegetable volumes in line with Twiga Foods’ mission of supplying readily available safe, affordable, and high-quality food to Kenya’s urban markets.
Peter Njonjo, Twiga’s chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder, said the initiative lines up strategically with the Government of Kenya’s Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy, which aims at boosting food security in the medium term through the modernising and scaling of commercial farming for the domestic market.