Nigerian agri-tech startup Vendease, an online marketplace that allows restaurants and food businesses to buy goods directly from manufacturers and farms has secured $3.2 million dollars in seed funding.
Launched in January 2020 by Tunde Kara, Olumide Fayankin, Gatumi Aliyu and Wale Oyepeju, Vendease aims to address the issues and inefficiencies of Africa’s highly fragmented food market, with a focus on Nigeria.
Initially, the company discovered a sweet spot in a completely decentralised marketplace game that connected suppliers and farmers on one side with restaurants and food enterprises on the other.
When a restaurant or food business puts an order, the system generates a list of all available suppliers who can fill it, compares pricing and quality, and allocates the order to the provider with the best pricing and quality. Delivery is made within 24 hours, either by its in-house or third-party logistics suppliers, according to the business.
The corporation realised they needed to do more and that these companies also require additional quality and operational help. While some grumbled about delivery times and meal quality, others lacked sophisticated processes to deal with them.
The Raise of Seed Funding
The raise of $3.2 million by the Nigerian agri-tech startup Vendease, in seed funding, is to expand operations and build technology. The agri-tech startup delivered about 100,000 metric tons of food in September, and now plans to expand its capacity after obtaining a $3.2 million seed round.
The investment, which was led by Global Founders Capital and included Y Combinator, Hustle Fund, Liquid 2 Ventures, and Soma Cap, would help Vendease expand its operations and technology. Earlier this year, the startup was also part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2021 cohort.
Tunde Kara, CEO of Vendease commented that “The rising food inflation coupled with the effects of COVID-19 across Africa has positioned Vendease to scale up food systems by digitising end-to-end processes from farm to table. We currently operate out of Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja, but this funding will act as a buoy for us, as we scale our solution to other cities across the continent.”
According to Don Stalter, managing partner of Global Founders Capital, the quality of the team caught the interest of his firm towards Vendease.
“As a backer of one of Africa’s very first unicorns, Jumia, we’ve seen a great deal of talent in the market, and Tunde and the Vendease team are best in class both in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and globally. Their laser focus and rapid growth are unprecedented, and there’s a massive opportunity ahead,” he said.
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