Nigerian agritech startup Releaf is solving this by building proprietary hardware and software solutions to make these farmers and food factories more efficient and profitable. Today, the company is announcing that it has raised $2.7 million in seed toward this effort.
Pan-African focused venture capital firms Samurai Incubate Africa, Future Africa and Consonance Investment Managers led the round. Individual investors like Stephen Pagliuca, the chairman of Bain Capital and Justin Kan of Twitch also participated.
In addition to the seed round, the agritech startup secured $1.5 million in grants from The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) and USAID.
Founded by Ikenna Nzewi and Uzoma Ayogu, Releaf focuses on value chains where smaller factories are set up near smallholder farmers. This allows them to get better processing yields and fewer logistics costs; in the end, the farmer has more money to work with.
So here’s how the company’s business model works. Releaf buys nuts from the farmers, then uses the Kraken to crack the nuts and crush the kernels into vegetable oil. Releaf then sells the vegetable oil to FMCG processors and local manufacturers, mainly in Nigeria’s South South region.
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