Taimba Limited, a mobile-based cashless platform based in Nairobi is connecting small-holder farmers in rural Kenya directly to big buyers such as informal green grocers, schools, hospitals and restaurants within the city hence relieving the producers the burden of hustling for markets.
The business to business agri-tech startup which sources various fresh produce from the growers and delivers to buyers also eliminates transport cost for the farmers further shrinking the agricultural value chain by disallowing any intermediaries such as brokers which may deny farmers their full profit.
“We source from the farmer at affordable prices that are farmer-friendly. We then offer the retailers the fresh produce at lower than market prices enabling them to sell to the final consumer at more affordable prices including delivering to their premises,” said Dominique Kavusya, the firm’s co-founder and CEO.
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In addition, Kavusya says the company cuts wastage and make farmer products affordable without undercutting the farmer.
To help the firm grow its business, Gray Matters Capital’s coLABS, US-based impact investor has given the company Sh10.4 million in funding that will go towards strengthening its warehouse and delivery logistics infrastructure and increase its delivery logistics to expand services to 6 new markets in Nairobi.
Additionally, the funds will be used to pilot in Mombasa and Kisumu city by next year and will also look at introducing new products such as fruits, nuts and eggs as part of its farm product catalogue.
“The funding is a shot in the arm for us to strengthen our warehouse infrastructure by setting up cold storage facilities and our delivery logistics so that we can cater to 6 new markets within Nairobi,” Kavusya said.
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Women constitute 83 percent of informal green grocers in Nairobi in the aged 22 to 39, and 80 percent of farmers in Kenya of an average age of 60.
“By delivering more money in their hands, in addition to the convenience of time, the women served by Taimba have an opportunity to create a better livelihood for themselves and their families”, said Jennifer Soltis, Portfolio Manager – coLABS, Gray Matters Capital.
“The team has built a solution that can be replicated in other markets in East Africa with minimal tweaks, and we are excited to partner with them in their growth journey.”
The funding marks the fourth investment by the impact investor in Africa after Rwanda based ARED, Ghana based Redbird Health Tech, and Nigeria based Sonocare.
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According to the last year report by Africa’s start-up portal, Disrupt Africa, Kenya is among the top African countries with the high number of agri-tech startup markets at 60 per cent, a position it shares with Nigeria and Ghana.
Gray Matters Capital has also supported two start-ups from the continent – Kenya’s parent advisory turned e-commerce start-up MumsVillage and Sierra Leone head quartered EduFin start-up Mosabi as part of its global digital accelerator program – GMC Calibrator earlier this year.
Taimba can be reached on email@example.com or +254709-790-000