Kenyan startup TopUp Mama closes US$1.7m seed funding to accelerate its growth

KENYA – Kenyan startup TopUp Mama, which provides African restaurants with access to supplies, financial services and business management tools, has closed a US$1.7 million seed funding round to accelerate its growth.

The round was led by Ventures Platform and JAM Fund, the round also features Next Billion Ventures, Future Africa, Jedar Capital, HoaQ Fund, First Check Africa and DFS Lab.

TopUp Mama will use the funds to accelerate its growth, build out its technology, and scale its sales management tools for restaurants.

Founded by Njavwa Mutambo, Emilie Blauwhoff and Andrew Kibe in 2021, TopUp Mama is a one-stop-shop for restaurants in Kenya and Nigeria that provides them with all the necessary supplies, short-term credit and tools needed to manage their businesses.

Since raising its pre-seed round 10 months ago, the company has grown by over 1,000 per cent, signed up over 3,000 restaurants, and expanded into Nigeria. It has now closed a US$1.7 million seed round.

“I grew up in the restaurant business in Zambia, and I know first-hand the power small businesses have in transforming lives. This is why we’re passionate about increasing restaurant contribution to Africa’s GDP,” said Njavwa Mutambo, TopUp Mama’s CEO.

“We believe we have a unique opportunity to build Africa’s most prominent restaurant partner and build one of the largest companies Africa has ever seen.”

Ventures Platform founder Kola Aina said he was excited about TopUp Mama’s impact across restaurants – “which serve as the heartbeat of neighbourhoods in Africa”.

Topup Mama empowers restaurant owners with access to affordable foodstuffs and powerful data analytics to deliver the delicious meals that keep us sustained and bring us together. Importantly, they also help restaurants grow their customer base while improving efficiency,” he said.

The startup has also over the last few months developed tools, including a food delivery platform that helps restaurants better manage their operations and increase earnings by connecting them to consumers.

These developments follow a US$1.7 million seed funding it closed in March, bringing the total amount raised to US$2.16 million.

Over the next few years, TopUp Mama is looking to be the go-to supplier for 50,000 businesses in Kenya and Nigeria, as it works toward being the largest grocery distributor in Africa targeting restaurants.

The startup enjoys the backing of a number of investors, including Ventures Platform and JAM fund, which led the seed round with participation from Next Billion Ventures, Future Africa, Jedar Capital, HoaQ Fund, First Check Africa and San Fransisco-based DFS Labs.

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