AUGUST 18, 2022
3 min Read
Investor Updates: August 18 2022
Kenyan agritech iProcure raises $10.2m Series B
- iProcure, a Kenyan B2B agritech startup, has secured $10.2 million in a series B funding round from Novastar Ventures, Ceniarth, and British International Investment (BII).
- The latest round included $1.2 million in debt and was led by Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P). So far, it brings the total funding raised by iProcure to $17.2 million.
- Since 2014, the startup has been connecting agricultural manufacturers and distributors to local retailers (agro-dealers), through its unique distribution infrastructure that interlinks agricultural supply chains.
iProcure is one of many new agritech startups that have sprung up across Africa, and are finding business opportunities in addressing the lack of infrastructure and other farming challenges. However, while African tech startups attracted more than $5 billion from local and foreign venture backers in 2021, only a fraction of that financing went to agritech ventures, highlighting a gap in funding available to the sector. That underscores the importance of this fundraising announcement – and is even more relevant for Kenya, where agriculture accounts for 23% of GDP and employs nearly 40% of the country’s population and 70% of its rural people.
Africa-focused Koolboks closes $2.5m seed round
- Koolboks, a startup providing accessible cold storage solutions to businesses, has received a $2.5 million seed funding, bringing its total investment to date to $3.5 million.
- Founded in 2018, Koolboks combines the supply of sun with water to create a solution able to generate refrigeration for up to four days without power and sunlight.
- Koolboks plans to deploy the capital to scale its expansion across Nigeria, including building its team to support its growing B2C business and construction of a local assembly facility in the country. The company also opened an affiliate office in Kenya in July.
The off-grid refrigeration market is worth $4.4 billion and is growing at a rate of 7%, per the Efficiency for Access Coalition. With more than 700 million people across Africa lacking proper access to electricity, and only 17% having access to refrigeration, Koolboks aims to close the gap in equitable access to clean, readily available energy, while also reducing food waste and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions. Its ice thermal refrigeration technology reduces CO2 emissions, displacing the use of diesel, and incorporating an environmentally friendly refrigerant.
New women-focused startup accelerator launches in Africa
- The Tech African Women (TAW) program has officially launched in the hopes of providing support and acceleration to women-owned African tech startups, taking their businesses from the idea stage into real-world operations.
- TAW is led by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in partnership with Betacube, and invites applications from female-led idea stage startups from Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania, and Tunisia.
- The program’s objective is to “empower” female founders to leverage their skills in building strong tech startups from scratch, accelerate the transformation of project ideas into validated business models, and develop alliances between different African ecosystems.
Source: Disrupt Africa
In Africa, female entrepreneurs are taking their place in the male-dominated tech world. However, gender bias still makes it harder for them to access finance and grow their businesses. Per Briter Bridges, only 3% of the total funding raised by startups in Africa since 2013 has gone to all-women co-founded teams. Collective stakeholder efforts are crucial to increasing female representation in and contribution to the startup space, which remains minute against a faster-growing percentage of ventures run by men.