In a move that is expected to bolster its B2B food supply platform, Cairo-based Agritech startup, FreshSource, has secured an undisclosed amount in seed funding from HIMangel; an investment network that is focused on creating avenues for startups to succeed through the provision of funding, mentorship, early-stage business building, cross-portfolio integration, as well as direct connection with stakeholders.
In a conversation with WeeTracker, Farah Emara, who is one half of the brother-sister duo that is credited with founding the startup, revealed that the most recent development is the culmination of talks that have been in progress since June this year.
According to her; “I have known HIMangels for over five years since I started to work in Endeavor and I have been involved in the entrepreneurship ecosystem the entire time. We started talks in June and closed the seed round in August.”
On the subject of equity, the co-Founder of FreshSource offered that the sole investors in the seed round, HIMangel, will, indeed, get some equity on their investment. She also pointed out that there is more to the participation of the firm in the seed round than mere investment reasons, as she labels HIMangel as “strategic partners that will have a significant impact on FreshSource.”
Since coming into existence early this year, FreshSource, which is the brainchild of siblings, Farah and Omar Emara, has had its focus on disrupting the Egyptian horticulture agri-chain through the provision of innovative solutions that are aimed at integrating small-time farmers into the modern value chain. The startup is an up and coming tech-based B2B platform which has its sights trained on connecting farmers of produce with urban retailers/vendors.
In other words, the operating model of the business allows farmers on the platform to easily sell their produce, and vendors to easily source them. FreshSource also claims to standout on the backs of the transparency element which it brings to the table in such transactions – something that is not always enjoyed by both sides when wholesalers are in the picture. The startup handles such details as sourcing for the produce, arranging/managing the necessary logistics, as well as delivery to retailers or vendors.
As Farah points out, the startup has also set its sights on minimizing food losses due to improper harvesting, handling, storage, and transport. It would appear the platform is tailored to meet the needs of both the local and export produce markets as it seeks to provide holistic cold-chain distribution channels for fruits and vegetables. According to her, FreshSource empowers farmers, saves money for businesses and brings about food security for the nation at large.
Although subsequent investment rounds are not ruled out in the future, the latest investment is expected to fuel the growth of the green enterprise in the now by facilitating the filling of key positions in the company, while also financing the company’s working capital; something that can be envisaged to catalyze further development and scaling.
Going forward, the startup hopes to continue sourcing high-quality produce for benefit of both the farmers and vendors on either side of the supply chain at prices that are fair and affordable. She Farah told WeeTracker that FreshSource is looking to create a shared value for farmers, businesses, and end-consumers alike.
The addition of FreshSource to the HIMangel portfolio follows from a similar investment in Bermoda; an Egyptian agritech startup that is in the business of improving agricultural outputs and conserving the environment through the development biofertilizers from agricultural waste.