- Cash-strapped Kenyan startup Twiga Foods has raised an undisclosed funding amidst operational restructuring attributed to tough market conditions.
- The firm announced that it has successfully closed a capital raise to fund its transformation and growth plans, anchored by Creadev and Juven, with participation from other existing shareholders.
- The move comes months after the firm announced that it will lay off a third of its 850 permanent employees.
Cash-strapped Kenyan startup Twiga Foods has raised an undisclosed funding amidst operational restructuring attributed to tough market conditions.
The firm on Monday, announced that it has successfully closed a capital raise to fund its transformation and growth plans, anchored by Creadev and Juven, with participation from other existing shareholders.
The move comes months after the firm announced that it will lay off a third of its 850 permanent employees.
Twiga Foods chairman says firm on track to digitize retail economy
“The company has undertaken a number of initiatives in the past year, enabled by significant investment in technology and automation, aimed at repositioning and fine-tuning operating processes, and enabling further resource mobilization to ensure the long-term resilience of the business,” said Hein Pretorius, Twiga’s Chairman.
“Looking ahead, Twiga will continue to progress its mission to digitize the informal retail economy and revolutionise food supply chains in Africa. We thank our investors, employees, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders for their continued support during this transformative period.”
Twiga’s CEO and Co-Founder, Peter Njonjo, stated that the funding round is the culmination of a transformation in Twiga’s approach and strategy, which has enhanced the firm’s cost efficiency and improved service delivery to its customers.
“I would like to thank all our current employees and those employees who have departed the company following our organizational review for their service and contributions to enabling Twiga’s success. I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our senior team for their support through this journey: Laurent Gouault, who joined us as Chief Operating Officer from Quickmart, Zuber Momoniat, who joined us as Chief Financial Officer from PZ Cussons, Anjan Dasgupta, who joined us as Chief Transformation Officer from Yousef Abdul Latif Jameel Group, Paul Bombo, our Chief Technology Officer, and Susan Kiama, our Chief People Officer. Let us seize this opportunity to cement Twiga’s position as a trusted partner and create a positive and lasting impact in our industry,” he added.
The AgriTech startup has attracted more than $150 million in funding since inception. Twiga Foods serves a monthly base of about 33,000 vendors and uses technology to aggregate demand and streamline logistics in the distribution of farm commodities to small-scale business operators in the city estates.
Onward lending under Hustler Fund
Last year, the Kenyan government announced plans to provide Twiga Foods with a $1.9 million loan for onward lending to over 100,000 suppliers through the Hustler Fund.
In June 2023, the firm terminated 130 sales agents, citing poor performance amid rising competition in the food delivery business.
In August, Njonjo told TechCabal that Twiga has been “on a transformative path in the last few months to become a lean, agile, cost-efficient organization, undertaking several interventions to adopt and sustain the business during these economic times.”
“There is no closure of operations. We continue to operate in Uganda, and our farm is operational,” said Njonjo. Yet, the latest layoffs will affect employees across all markets. An estimated 267 people will be made redundant, and Twiga said they will be compensated according to labor laws. “Twiga will offer severance packages in full compliance with applicable labor laws,” Njonjo told TechCabal.