Releaf, a Nigerian agritech startup, has acquired $3.3 million in a pre-Series A investment that was marked. Releaf supplies ingredients, starting with palm oil, to partner consumer goods manufacturers and food factories.
The Kraken II and SITE launches will be supported by seed capital of $4.2 million (including a $1.5 million grant), according to the business funded by the Jack Ma Foundation.
To provide small farmers with higher processing yields and lower transportation costs, Releaf focuses on value chains where smaller manufacturers are located close to them. Releaf’s first and only crop right now is oil palm, which has a $3 billion market with more than 4 million smallholder farmers.
“The greatest benefit for them [farmers] With this new evolution of Kraken and SITE, many offer farmers low prices because they have to pay a lot for logistics. But now that we can eliminate 80% of the logistics costs and process much closer to the farmers, we can return much of that profit to them while keeping more for ourselves while even improving the quality of the final product.” said Ayogu, who co-founded Releaf with CEO Ikenna Nzewi about why this new technology is important to farmers.
The Kraken II is a cost-effective, portable variation of the palm nut sheller that is half the cost and eliminates over 80% of margin-eroding expenses. The SITE geospatial mapping program, on the other hand, makes food processing assets available.
With the participation of Consonance Investment Managers, Samurai Incubate Africa, who had previously led Releaf’s seed round, led the pre-Series A fundraising. Stephen Pagliuca, Chairman of Bain Capital, and Jeff Ubben, founder of Inclusive also invested. Capital Partners and a board member of the World Wildlife Fund. Samurai Incubate Africa Managing Partner Rena Yoneyama commented on the investment:
“Releaf’s success with their pilot Kraken validates their thesis, and we are excited to continue supporting their ambitious vision to create efficient supply chains within the African agricultural market.”