Vendease, an agri-tech startup that lets restaurants and other food businesses buy supplies directly from manufacturers and farms, has secured a $3.2 million seed round.
The funding round was led by Global Founders Capital with participation from Y Combinator, Hustle Fund, Liquid 2 Ventures, and Soma Cap. Other local investors and early backers such as Paga CEO, Tayo Oviosu, Remita CEO, John Obaro, and Magic Fund also took part.
The funding comes seven months after the company, along with nine other African entrepreneurs, participated in Y Combinator’s winter batch.
Tunde Kara, Olumide Fayankin, Gatumi Aliyu, and Wale Oyepeju founded Vendease in January 2020 to solve Africa’s food supply chain problems by automating procurement procedures, storage operations, logistics, and providing flexible payment systems to help food businesses grow.
Through its mobile and web apps, Vendease allows food businesses to place orders for food supplies, manage inventory, track expenses and gain access to credit facilities.
To achieve this, Vendease has built a network of farmers and food manufacturers that ensure food businesses using its platform can get better margins, quality food produce and fast delivery. This process saves procurement costs and man-hours, giving these businesses the convenience of focusing on delivering food experiences to consumers at the bottom of the chain.
The startup claims to have delivered approximately 100,000 metric tons of food in September 2021 and assisted restaurants in saving roughly 5000 man-hours in the last nine months. This enabled the startup to reach a transaction volume of $12.9 million in September 2021.
Vendease hopes to use this round of funding to grow its operations and develop its technology. The company has had a huge impact and grown quickly since its inception, with revenue growing 17x in the last nine months.
Don Stalter, Managing Partner, Global Founders Capital (USA), said, “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 & the Vendease team are best in class both in EMEA and globally. Their laser focus and rapid growth are unprecedented, and there’s a massive opportunity ahead”
According to the CEO, Tunde Kara, “The rising food inflation coupled with effects of COVID-19 across Africa, has positioned Vendease to scale up food systems by digitizing end-to-end processes from farm to table. We currently operate out of Lagos, Ibadan & Abuja, but this funding will act as a buoy for us, as we scale our solution to other cities across the continent.”
Vendease ultimately hopes to build the operating system for food supply in Africa.