Sumary of Nigerian agritech startup Releaf secures $4.2M to scale its food processing technology:
- Nigerian agritech startup Releaf is solving this by building proprietary hardware and software solutions to make these farmers and food factories more efficient and profitable.
- Pan-African focused venture capital firms Samurai Incubate Africa, Future Africa and Consonance Investment Managers led the round.
- Individual investors like Stephen Pagliuca, the chairman of Bain Capital and Justin Kan of Twitch also participated.
- When the pair started the company in 2017, the idea behind Relead was not concrete yet as the team, based in the U.S., had not figured out product-market fit.
- Even after graduating from Y Combinator’s summer batch that year, Releaf toyed around with ideas around trade finance and a marketplace for buyers and sellers of agricultural products.
- The Americans of Nigerian descent toured across 20 states and studied different value chains for crops spotting inefficiencies that could be solved by technology.
- The oil palm market in Nigeria is a $3 billion one with over 4 million smallholder farmers cultivating farms where those crops are planted.
- But since the industry is quite fragmented, they have many challenges processing the oil palm because it’s a crop that requires serious processing power to extract vegetable oil from it.