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Kenya: Twiga Foods raises $30 million ahead of planned expansion

Kenyan food distribution start-up Twiga Foods has raised $30 million through a fundraising round led by Goldman Sachs. Twiga has estimated Africa’s informal food production and distribution system at $300 billion a year and growing. It uses an online platform to link food producers with retailers, aiming to harness technology to boost demand for farmers’ products.

The funds, raised partly from existing investors such as the International Finance Corporation, TLcom Capital and Creadev, will be invested in upgrading the technology behind the Twiga platform and to establish a new distribution center.

“This allows us to ... get the company to the next level of growth,” co-founder and CEO Peter Njonjo told Reuters.

Twiga is among a host of African start-ups looking to use information technology to solve the continent’s problems, such as highly fragmented and informal retail food markets that discourage investments in farming. The company’s fleet of vehicles delivers fruit and vegetables to retailers within 18 hours of receiving an order on the platform and pays the farmers within 48 hours using mobile platforms such as M-Pesa.

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