Nigerian agtech startup Releaf, which makes it easier for consumer goods manufacturers in Africa to access high-quality ingredients for their factories, has raised $3.3 million in a pre-Series A funding round with excess of applications, and has also announced some new technologies.
Founded in 2021, re-leaf helps FMCG manufacturers access high-quality ingredients. Starting with sustainable oil palm in Nigeria, the startup develops technology to enable decentralized purchasing and processing of raw crops to improve profitability and prevent post-harvest losses for a more climate-resilient future.
startup raised a seed round of US$4.2 million in 2021, and has now followed up with a further US$3.3 million in pre-Series bridge capital to support the launch of two new technologies. Those are Kraken II, a portable version of its award-winning palm nut sheller, and SITE, a geospatial mapping app that reports the most profitable positioning of food processing assets.
The funding round was led by Samurai Incubate Africa, which reinvested after leading Releaf’s seed round, with participation from Consonance Investment Managers. Stephen Pagliuca, Chairman of Bain Capital, and Jeff Ubben, World Wildlife Fund board member and founder of Inclusive Capital Partners, also invested.
Since its launch in 2021, Releaf has used its supply chain technology to process more than 10 million kilograms of palm nuts and has increased its monthly revenue 7 times year-over-year. The company has also secured more than $100 million in supply contracts from major consumer goods manufacturers, including Presco, PZ Cussons and more. The company’s valuation has tripled since its initial round.
Uzoma Ayogu, CTO and co-founder of Releaf, said that SITE and Kraken II were the next steps in the startup’s plan to fundamentally transform the efficiency of agricultural supply chains in Africa.
“We are excited to have partnered with an exceptional cohort of investors and collaborators to implement these technologies. For food supply chains to be profitable, we must maximize extraction yields with leading processing technology and minimize logistics costs by moving processing capacity closer to farmers,” he said. “Before Releaf, stakeholders had to choose between one or the other: the big factories had great technology but were far away, leaving most farmers with rudimentary technology to process their crops. Now we can maximize both.”
Rena Yoneyama, managing partner of Samurai Incubate Africa, said Releaf’s success with its Kraken pilot had validated her thesis.
“We are excited to continue supporting his ambitious vision to create efficient supply chains within the African agricultural market. They have added key members to their management team and continue to impress us with their rapid business growth and technological development. We look forward to more of the same success as the team releases Kraken II and SITE,” he said.