SENEGAL – Afrikamart, a startup that is using digital technology to revolutionise the value chain of fresh agricultural produce, has raised US$850,000 in seed funding from BLOC Smart Africa, a fund managed by Bamboo Capital Partners, Orange Ventures, Launch Africa, and Teranga Capital.
“Since the launch of the platform, we have been impressed by the receptiveness of producers and retailers, the first victims of market dysfunctions to which we respond,” Mignane DIOUF — Founder and CEO, Afrikamart said.
“The annual market for fresh fruits and vegetables in Senegal represents half a million tonnes and a market opportunity of more than one billion US dollars, and our goal is to continue expanding in the subregion.”
The startup has generated considerable traction since it was founded. Afrikamart has over 2,000 farmers contributing their produce to it.
“We were impressed with Afrikamart’s potential to combine scalable social and economic benefits for smallholder farmers and retailers with exceptional financial growth potential for society.”
By the end of the year, Afrikamart hopes to have expanded its network to more than 5,000 operators and 2,000 shops across the country.
“Digitalization provides an essential solution to agriculture in Africa, a continent facing demographic and food security challenges in addition to the climate crisis,” Grégoire DE PADIRAC, Principal at Orange Ventures noted.
“The challenge is to reduce food waste and improve the income of local producers and distributors. At Orange Ventures, we are happy to support Afrikamart’s project for a more efficient agricultural sector.”
In Senegal, harvest losses can reach 50% of total harvests, from producer to final retailer. Farmers are also subjected to considerable payment delays from intermediaries, with little information on final selling prices.
Afrikamart reacts to these issues by digitising all procedures, allowing them to divide losses by 5 and protect operator and retailer income.