KENYA – GMC coLABS, the gender lens portfolio US based impact investor Gray Matters Capital has announced a US$100,000 funding to Taimba, a Nairobi based B2B Agri-Tech start-up.
Taimba, which runs a mobile-based cashless platform connecting rural small scale farmers to urban retailers, will use the funding to strengthen its infrastructure and increase delivery logistics to cater to 6 new markets in Nairobi.
Dominique Kavuisya, Co-Founder and CEO, Taimba said, “We are delighted to become a part of Gray Matters Capital’s portfolio through the coLABS funding.
“This is a validation of the work which we have been doing and the impact on-ground delivering value to vendors and farmers through our mobile platform.
“The funding is a shot in the arm for us to strengthen our warehouse infrastructure by setting up cold storage facilities and also our delivery logistics so that we can cater to 6 new markets within Nairobi.”
Taimba sources agricultural products directly from the rural small-scale farmers and delivers directly to informal green grocers, schools, hospitals and restaurants within Kenya’s capital.
The startup currently has over 2,000 farmers in its portfolio and engages with 15 farmer Savings and Credit Co-operatives (SACCOs) selling produce such as potatoes, tomatoes, cabbages and carrots.
The company also has also on boarded 310 customers on its platform comprising informal green grocers (85%), restaurants and cafés (10%) and Schools and hospitals (5%) based out in Nairobi.
By piloting open contracts with Kenyan farmers, Taimba offers 20-30% higher prices as compared to middlemen, helping generate better revenues along with direct linkage to urban markets.
“By delivering more money in their hands, in addition to the convenience of time, the women served by Taimba have an opportunity to create a better livelihood for themselves and their families”, said Jennifer Soltis, Portfolio Manager – coLABS, Gray Matters Capital.
“The team has built a solution that can be replicated in other markets in East Africa with minimal tweaks, and we are excited to partner with them in their growth journey,” she adds.
The firm has also partnered with Technoserve, the international non-profit organization that promotes business solutions to poverty, as its farmer outreach partner.
As for retailers, Taimba offers them the convenience of doorstep delivery of the produce, helping them to save on 3-4 hours of sourcing time and nearly US$2-3 on logistics.
Taimba has also rolled out a microloan facility for its retail customers to help them expand their businesses and to overcome liquidity challenges.
The start-up is also planning to pilot in Mombasa and Kisumu city by next year and will also look at introducing new products such as fruits, nuts and eggs as part of its farm product catalogue.
Joan Kavuisya, Co-Founder and Head of Product Development, said “Taimba will be all about quality fresh produce grown with good farming practices.
“We plan on using technology to fine tune traceability through-out the value chain-from seeds used to other farm inputs.
“We will expand our tech such that eventually there will be a simple solution that farmers and traders have a way to engage and benefit through us.”
The funding marks the fourth investment by the impact investor in Africa after Rwanda based ARED, Ghana based Redbird Health Tech, and Nigeria based Sonocare.