By Gitahi Ngunyi
The richest family in France, The Mulliez Family has acquired an undisclosed stake worth Sh500 million at retail technology start up, Twiga Foods.
According to a statement announcing the investment, the family of Gerard Mulliez in Twiga Foods will be held under the family’s investment firm, Creadev.
“Creadev, a global long-term investment firm wholly funded by the Mulliez family, has today announced a secondary investment of USD 5 million in Twiga Foods, a Kenyan-based technology based B2B platform that aggregates retail demand and efficiently provides low cost access to better quality food,” said the statement announcing the deal.
As part of this secondary transaction, early investors in Twiga Foods including, Adolf H. Lundin Charitable Foundation, Blue Haven Ventures, Crescat Limited, Omidyar Networks, Index Ventures through Project Hand Purpose Trust, and Uqalo, have partially sold their stake as part of a strategy to accommodate later stage and longer-term investors.
Founded in 2014, Twiga Foods leverages on its technology to aggregate the requirements of the informal retailers through its m-commerce platform and leveraging this to efficiently source produce directly from farmers and food manufacturers. By doing so, Twiga has created a more transparent and efficient supply chain, delivering the product directly to the retailers and reducing post-harvest losses on fresh produce. Farmers have an easier and more predictable access to market, enabling them to increase their revenues; while retailers use the m-Commerce platform to easily order high-quality food products which are delivered directly at their shops while end-customers get access to higher quality and safer food at cheaper prices.
The CEO of Twiga Foods, Peter Njonjo said: “Having Creadev join our shareholding is a huge boost to our mission to deliver safe, affordable high-quality food to urban consumers, while providing reliable markets for farmers. It will support our efforts towards growing our ecosystem of farmers and retailers”.
Twiga currently works with 17,000 farmers, and 2,500 retailers daily and is looking to further expand its operations within and outside Kenya. Peter Njonjo, a co-founder in Twiga, recently joined as CEO, a move that was well received by the investor community as the company sought to strengthen its management team. Peter, a Kenyan was until recently President of Coca-Cola’s West and Central Africa business, where he had an illustrious 21 year career.
In a statement announcing the investment, Sarah Ngamau and Pierre Fauvet, who head Creadev’s activities in Africa, said: “We are proud to enter into this long-term partnership with Twiga as they answer a massive market need: the structuration and formalization of the food logistics supply chain. We are impressed by Twiga’s fast growth, driven by an experienced and result-oriented management team. We believe the appointment of Mr Njonjo as CEO is another proof of Twiga’s ambitions and willingness to grow to the next level. We will leverage on Creadev’s international retail network and future funding capacity to support the team in executing this ambitious expansion plan and continue delivering their strong value proposition to small-holder farmers, informal retailers, and end customers. We take the opportunity to thank Adolf H. Lundin Charitable Foundation, Blue Haven Ventures, Crescat Limited, Omydiar Networks, Index Ventures through Project Hand Purpose Trust, and Uqalo for their successful early-stage support to Twiga.”