NIGERIA – Nigeria’s leading dried fruit snack brand, ReelFruit, has raised a Series A investment of US$3 million to expand its production fivefold, increase its product offerings and double down on exports to the US and other international markets.
The funding round was led by Alitheia IDF which invested 67 per cent or US$2 million, while other investors including Samata Capital and Flying Doctor Healthcare Investment Company also took part in the round.
Founded in 2012, ReelFruit pioneered the dried fruit snack industry in Nigeria and remains its market leader.
The premium nutritious snacks maker plans to acquire a new factory in Ogun State to increase its monthly dried fruit production from 6 MT to 30 MT.
The factory will hire over 200 people in its first year. With its greater supply of dried fruit, ReelFruit will continue to innovate new products for the local and international markets.
As part of its expansion plan, ReelFruit will scale its dried fruit production, develop new products, and increase exports by 10 x to 15 MT in the first year.
“This investment takes ReelFruit to the next level. We can meet increased demand for our products and tackle one of our biggest challenges – raw material supply.
“We’re thrilled that this will unleash a greater impact on our value chain by increasing farmer incomes and creating up to 300 decent jobs for Nigerians,” Affiong Williams, ReelFruit CEO/Founder.
As part of its efforts to secure high quality raw materials, ReelFruit plans to deepen its existing work with Nigerian fruit farmers.
The company will form an agro-extension services program for 250 registered mango and pineapple producers.
The program will boost fruit yields and help support a steady supply of high-quality raw material for the factory.
To meet strong demand for its dried fruit snacks, ReelFruit will diversify its local and international sales channels.
“Alitheia IDF is proud to support ReelFruit’s ongoing efforts to boost food production in Nigeria and positively impact communities through deliberate partnerships with local farmers, distributors, and retailers.
“The investment will strengthen the company to unlock further growth, upskill farmers and improve economic outcomes for thousands of women who play a significant role in the production of ReelFruit’s products,” said Tokunboh Ishmael, Alitheia IDF co-founder.
ReelFruit also plans to launch an e-commerce channel for direct US sales by 4Q21. The company further seeks to unlock more B2B opportunities including white labelling and co-packing to support the national drive toward import substitution.
Local buyers will be able to buy dried fruit locally thereby reducing dependence on imports. ReelFruit is already on track to double last year’s revenues by November 2021.
The company’s is on a mission to produce the tastiest and healthiest snacks for its customers across the world.
Some of its best-selling products are Gently Dried Mango, Fruit & Nut Mix, and Sweetened Coconut Flakes.