Kenya’s Twiga Foods secures new funding, amid plans to pay off over 100 suppliers

Kenya’s Twiga Foods secures new funding, amid plans to pay off over 100 suppliers

Twiga Foods, the Kenyan startup celebrated for its role in optimizing the food supply chain in Africa, has secured undisclosed funding through a business refinancing process. This development comes just weeks after facing a KES 40 million (USD 261,878.75) debt collection lawsuit from Incentro Africa, a cloud services vendor. 

The new funding, orchestrated as part of a strategic refinancing move, was provided by key investors who participated in Twiga’s substantial 2021 $50 million Series C round. Notable backers in this round include Creadev, Juven, TLcom Capital Partners, and DOB Equity.

The refinancing news was accompanied by a statement from Peter Njonjo, Twiga’s CEO, asserting the finalization of restructuring efforts. Njonjo shared, “We have sent over 100 letters informing suppliers that we have now finalized our restructuring and refinancing, and they will finally have their long outstanding dues paid.” This announcement marks a notable shift from Twiga’s initial stance challenging Incentro’s debt claim.

Twiga Foods had initially disputed Incentro’s debt collection efforts, claiming the statutory demand was made in bad faith with ulterior motives. The startup characterized the lawsuit as unreasonable and motivated by malice. However, despite this dispute, Twiga later confirmed engaging in talks with Incentro to reach a resolution.

During the liquidation proceedings, Twiga emphasized concerns over potential harm to its reputation, seemingly as a deterrent against similar legal actions from other suppliers. As of late 2022, Twiga had a supplier base of over 140.

Finding Boost and Local Market Revolution 

This recent funding injection reflects investors’ continued confidence in Twiga Foods and its ability to navigate challenges. It positions the company to settle outstanding dues and proceed with a renewed focus on its mission of transforming the food supply chain landscape in Kenya and beyond.

Founded in 2014 by the duo of Grant Brooke and Peter Njonjo, Twiga Foods initially set out to export bananas from Kenya but pivoted to serve the local market after their first customer, a street vendor, placed an order with them. 

Currently, it operates a business-to-business marketplace platform that sources produce directly from farmers and delivers it to urban retailers. The company leverages technology to link smallholder farmers with informal traders, offering fair prices, quality products, and efficient delivery.

Africa’s Best-Funded Tech Startup 

Twiga Foods stands out as one of the best-funded tech startups on the continent, having raised more than $100 million in debt and equity financing rounds. 

Prior to this, the company’s most recent funding was a $50 million Series C round, announced on November 1, 2021. The round, led by Creadev, included new investors such as Endeavor Catalyst, OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund, and Bossanova Investimentos, along with existing investors like IFC Venture Capital Group, TLcom Capital Partners, DOB Equity, and Juven. The round also involved a $30 million secondary sale, allowing some early investors to exit with up to a 100 percent annualized return.

Twiga Foods also earned a spot on the TIME100 Most Influential Companies list for 2022, recognizing its significant impact on improving food security and livelihoods in Africa,

This latest round of funding positions Twiga Foods to expand its operations across Africa and launch new products and services, underscoring its continued influence in the global tech and agribusiness landscape.

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