SENEGAL – Afrikamart, a Senegalese startup that is using digital technology to revolutionise the value chain of fresh agricultural produce, has raised US$ 850,000 in seed funding from leading venture capital groups including BLOC Smart Africa – a fund managed by Bamboo Capital Partners, Orange Ventures, Launch Africa, and Teranga Capital.
The proceeds from the financing will allow the company to ramp-up its purchases from smallholder farmers across the country and efficiently manage the logistics and last-mile delivery of 14 fresh types of vegetables directly to street vendors and small retailers, restaurants and hotels in Dakar and Mbour.
By doing that, Afrikamart will create efficiencies, enhance information and trust in the marketplace, increase the diversity and quality of local produce available to consumers, eliminate late payments by intermediaries, reduce waste (up to 50% of fresh produces is typically wasted), and position itself as the buyer and seller of choice for both producers and retailers.
The company was founded in 2018 by three-time entrepreneurs Mignane Diouf, a software engineer, and Albert Diouf, an agricultural commodity trader.
“After launching our small retailer trading program late 2021, we have been overwhelmed by the demand for our solution.
“Once we have successfully entered the Senegalese market, we intend to take our tech platform and know-how to other West African countries,” said Mignane DIOUF, Founder and CEO, Afrikamart.
The annual fresh fruits and vegetable market in Senegal represents half a million tons, a US$ 1 billion market opportunity.
Afrikamart’s end-to-end solution allows a formalization of the fresh food value chain and the empowerment of small market operators.
To date, nearly 2,000 farmers have provided Afrikamart with fresh produce; up to 10 tons have been delivered per day to 500 regular customers across 4 cities in Senegal.
The company expects to have onboarded a total of 5,000 farmers and 2,000 retailers by year-end.
“Afrikamart is one of the most innovative and fastest-growing start-ups of Senegal. Investing in such businesses using scalable technology-led solutions is part of the DNA of the Bloc Smart Africa fund and we are extremely pleased to support this agritech local champion for their expansion strategy”.
“We welcome with great satisfaction the news of the investment of the BLOC Smart Africa Fund in the Senegalese start-up Afrikamart for the needs of its expansion,” said The DG/CEO of Smart Africa, Mr. Lacina Koné.
The BLOC fund that Senegal supports is an additional financing instrument for start-ups in Africa; an instrument that finds all its relevance in the ambition to build a common African market, and therefore to give the means to start-ups, in particular, to expand their activities throughout Africa.