Releaf, a Nigerian Agritech company that uses technology to supply palm oil products and other high-quality ingredients to food factories and manufactures, has raised $ 3.3 million in a Pre-series A round.
The funding round was led by Samurai Incubate Africa with participation from Consonance Investment Managers. Stephen Pagliuca and Jeff Ubben.
Uzoma Ayogu, co-founder and CTO, of Releaf, in a statement, said the funding would be used to support the launch of two key technologies, Kraken II and SITE.
The Kraken is an advanced palm nut de-sheller said to process 500 tonnes of palm kernel weekly with 95% accuracy. Releaf, therefore, describes the Kraken II as a portable, lower-cost version that functions efficiently as its static predecessor and has the advantage of easy transportation to high-density farming areas.
“Our seed round was focused on essentially getting the first evolution of Kraken and proving that we can be the first company to take multiple species of very poor quality smallholder palm nuts and turn them into high-quality palm kernel oil,” Ayogu reportedly said.
The company also funded SITE – a geospatial mapping application developed to ascertain the quantity of oil palm planted and its annual produce.
Data was obtained from Releaf proprietary on soil type, rainfall, and farmer productivity; and third-party data from organizations such as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Foundation for partnership initiatives in the Niger Delta(PIND) and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to assist decision making in these areas.
The Kraken and SITE will ensure that business owners in the oil palm industry will always have raw materials at their disposal.
Ayogu added that SITE and Kraken II are the next steps in the company’s plan to fundamentally transform the efficiency of the agricultural supply chain in Africa, creating an effective link to bring processing capacity closer to farmers.
“SITE and Kraken II are the next steps in our plan to fundamentally transform the efficiency of agricultural supply chains in Africa and we are excited to have partnered with an exceptional cohort of investors and collaborators to roll out these technologies. To make food supply chains profitable, we must maximize extraction yields with leading processing technology and minimize logistics costs by bringing processing capacity closer to farmers”, he said.
With the company’s successful stride, Releaf is set to push forward its ambitious vision of creating an efficient supply chain within Africa’s agricultural market.
Rena Yoneyama, the managing partner at Samurai Incubate Africa, said, “Releaf’s success with its pilot Kraken validates its thesis, and we are excited to continue supporting their ambitious vision to create efficient supply chains within Africa’s agricultural market”.