Releaf, the Nigerian agritech firm, has reportedly secured $3.3 million in an oversubscribed pre-Series A funding round. Releaf provides ingredients to consumer goods producers and food facilities.
The business backed by Jack Ma Foundation stated it will acquire $4.2 million (along with a $1.5 million grant) in venture funding in September 2021 to facilitate the launch of two emerging technologies: Kraken II and SITE.
Releaf specializes in value chains where smaller facilities are situated close to smallholder farmers, giving them access to better processing yields and lower logistics costs. Oil palm, Releaf's first and only crop at present, has a $3 billion segment and more than 4 million small-scale farmers.
Approximately 80% of the crop's productivity is driven by these farmers using boulders or inefficient machinery, yielding low-quality vegetable oil. To extract premium vegetable oil, Releaf unveiled Kraken, a stationary palm nut de-sheller.
The palm nut de-sheller comes as a mobile, less expensive model named Kraken II that costs almost half the price and reduces nearly 80% of margin-eroding expenditures. SITE, in contrast, is a geospatial mapping system that lists the assets utilized in the preparation of food.
Since Kraken's launch in 2021, the firm has processed over 10 million kilos of palm nuts with the help of its supply chain solution. Releaf has increased its monthly earnings 7 times within a year, and this year's growth is anticipated because of the supply agreements worth over $100 million with Nigerian producers of consumer goods.
The firm, whose valuation has more than tripled after its seed funding, will use the funds to broaden the geographic areas where it processes palm and the types of crops it can handle.
Samurai Incubate Africa and Consonance Investment Managers, who had previously headed the funding round, also took part in the pre-Series A round this time. The funding also includes financing from Jeff Ubben, the founder of Inclusive Capital Partners and a board member of the World Wildlife Fund, as well as Stephen Pagliuca, chairman of Bain Capital.
Source credit: https://techcrunch.com/2023/01/09/nigerian-agritech-releaf-gets-more-capital-as-it-launches-new-tech-for-food-processing/