NIGERIA – Vendease, an agri-tech startup that lets restaurants and other food businesses buy supplies directly from manufacturers and farms, has secured a US$3.2 million seed round to expand operations and build out its technology.
Founded in January 2020 by Tunde Kara, Olumide Fayankin, Gatumi Aliyu and Wale Oyepeju, Vendease helps to solve food supply chain problems by digitizing procurement processes, storage operations and logistics, and offering flexible payment systems to help food businesses grow.
The startup, which was part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2021 cohort in early 2021, has developed mobile and web apps that allow 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.
In September 2021, Vendease delivered approximately 100,000 metric tonnes of food, and it is now planning on expanding its capacities further after raising a US$3.2 million seed round.
“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 and Abuja, but this funding will act as a buoy for us, as we scale our solution to other cities across the continent,” said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tunde Kara.
Don Stalter, managing partner of Global Founders Capital, said it was the quality of the team that attracted his firm to Vendease.
“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 and 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,” he said.