Releaf, a Nigerian technology company seeking to make it easier for consumer goods manufacturers in Africa to access ingredients for their factories, has raised $3.3 million in an oversubscribed pre-Series A funding round. .
The funding round was led by Samurai Incubate Africa, which reinvested after leading Releaf’s initial round.
Other investors who participated include 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.
The new funding will support the launch of two new technologies: Kraken II, a portable version of its palm nut sheller, and SITE, a geospatial mapping application for the positioning of food processing assets.
SITE was developed in collaboration with Stanford University Professor David Lobell, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and Director of the Center for Food Safety and the Environment, whose team led the refinement of the oil palm age identification process in Nigeria.
According to Uzoma Ayogu, CTO and co-founder of Releaf, “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. 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.”
Since launching in 2021, Releaf says it has used its supply chain technology to process more than 10 million kilograms of palm nuts and 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 from its seed about a year ago.
Egypt-based agritech Mahaseel Masr has raised an undisclosed amount in funds from the Emirates International Investment Company. Founded in 2020 by Mohamed Abdel Rahman, the startup offers a B2B marketplace for fresh produce, connecting farmers and growers with global buyers.
The new capital injection will be used to accelerate the rollout of its e-commerce platform and improve its product offering and supply chain operations.
“Demand for premium quality fruits and vegetables at competitive prices is showing strong growth, driven by a rapidly increasing global population and increased digital awareness, as well as a demanding need for global supply chain stability. With the support of EIIC, we will be able to achieve our mission of expanding our geographic presence while crowning our portfolio with advanced value-added financial and technology services,” said Mohamed Abdel Rahman, CEO of Mahaseel.
Muqbis, an Egypt-based online marketplace for handicrafts, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Nama Ventures. Founded in 2021 by Iman El Wasifi, Mohamed Nasser and Kareem Hussein, Muqbis is positioned as the Etsy of the MENA region. It provides a platform for local artisans in Egypt to sell their wares.
Centbee, a UK and South Africa-based facilitator of digital money payments on the Bitcoin BSV blockchain, has raised $1 million in its pre-Series A round led by Calvin Ayre, founder of the equity firm. bitcoin venture capital Ayre Ventures.
A six-year-old company, Centbee operates as a digital cash wallet that seeks to make it easy for global consumers to buy, spend, and send digital cash to friends and family on their mobile phone using the BSV blockchain.
It also offers digital cash products and services through a separate decentralized finance application.
Centbee claims to have enabled 35,000 remittance payments in Africa. He said the new investment will support its expansion plans and bolster its technical and operational capacity.