Richest French Family Buys Undisclosed Stake In Kenya’s Twiga Foods For USD 5 Mn

By  |  June 12, 2019

France’s Mulliez Family, one of the wealthiest households in the world, has acquired an unspecified stake in Kenya’s retail technology startup Twiga Foods. The KSh 500 Mn (USD 5 Mn) deal leads to the family of billionaire Gerard Mulliez being in the startup under the family’s investment firm, Creadev.

2014-founded Twiga Foods is a B2B platform that aggregates retail demand, efficiently providing low-cost access to better quality food. According to an official statement following the investment, this is a secondary investment that by the Mulliez-controlled global long-term investment firm – Creadev. Twiga works with 17,000 farmers, and 2,500 retailers daily and plans to expand its operations outside Kenya.

As a result of the investment, the initial investors of Twiga – Adolf H. Lundin Charitable Foundation, Blue Haven Ventures, Crescat Limited, Omidyar Network, Index Ventures through Project Hand Purpose Trust, and Uqalo, have all gone hands-off on their stakes in the company. Selling their stakes is part of an approach to accommodate later-stage and longer-term investors.

With a net worth of USD 37.5 Bn, the Mulliezes are easily the most affluent family in France. The patriarch, Gerard Mulliez (featured image), was the first richest person in France and 18th wealthiest person in the world.

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The family expressed their delight to enter a long-term partnership Twiga, mainly because the company addresses a pressing market need – structuring and formalizing the food logistics supply chain.

Creadev, who thanked the outgoing investors for their early-stage support to the Kenyan company,  also commented on the fast growth rate of Twiga, pointing out that it is driven by an experienced and goal-oriented management team. And that is not far from the truth.

The startup recently changed leadership hands, appointing Peter Njonjo as Non-Executive Director. Peter brought on Twiga’s board, an illustrious 21 years of experience working with The Coca-Cola Company, where he led the West and Central African business units as President.

Sarah Ngamau and Pierre Fauvet, who head Creadev’s activities in Africa said: “We believe the appointment of Mr. Njonjo as CEO is another proof of Twiga’s ambitions and willingness to grow to the next level.

We will leverage on Creadev’s international retail network and future funding capacity to support the team in executing this ambitious expansion plan and continue delivering their strong value proposition to small-holder farmers, informal retailers, and end customers”.

Peter Njonjo said: “Having Creadev join our shareholding is a huge boost to our mission to deliver safe, affordable, high-quality food to urban consumers while providing reliable markets for farmers. It will support our efforts towards growing our ecosystem of farmers and retailers”.

For previous funding rounds, Twiga Foods has banked up to USD 24 Mn. Their last investment development was in December 2018 when they secured USD 10 Mn in a Series A funding round led by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, Global Agriculture & Food security program and TLcom Capital.

This new investment brings the startup’s total funding to more than USD 29 Mn.

Featured Image Via Lavoixdunord.

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