Twiga Food, the Kenyan company which is increasingly getting the attention of key global investors has attributed the growth to the manner it incorporates staff in partial ownership of the company that drives growth.
The company CEO and co-founder Peter Njonjo spoke at Dubai during the Global Business Forum Africa 2019 where African businesses are pitching their ideas to Emirati investors.
Njonjo noted that currently there are 8 people in management who receive stock options and expressed his hope that during their next round of raising capital, they want to increase this number of staff to 30 people.
“Empowering your employees to be entrepreneurs within the business is imperative to its success,” added Njonjo.
When asked what made him leave the comfort of a multinational company to venture into the world of entrepreneurship, Njonjo replied: “It got to a point where there were a good number of investors who were supportive and it aligned with my purpose. Trial and error is at the core of entrepreneurship and one of the things I have learnt is that it’s okay to fail…. but don’t fail at the same thing twice,” he added.
Among the high-level attendees at GBF Africa 2019 are H.E. George Weah, President of Liberia; H.E. Danny Faure, President of Seychelles; H.E. Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe; H.E. Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, Prime Minister of Mozambique; H.E. Ruhakana Ruganda, Prime Minister of Uganda; H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai; H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber; H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber; and H.E. Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg, President of Dubai Business Women Council, among other prominent speakers.
This year, the forum puts the spotlight on promising startups that are driving business growth in Africa and examines the important role of cross-border cooperation in supporting the continent’s economic growth and development.
Twiga operates a mobile-based, cashless platform to aggregate urban retail demand, offering thousands of small and medium-sized vendors convenient one-stop-shop ordering. Retailers have access to lower-cost, higher-quality fresh produce and processed food, conveniently and reliably delivered to their doorstep within 18 hours of ordering. As a result, farmers and food manufacturers have guaranteed access to a fairly priced, transparent marketplace. Twiga pays farmers within 48 hours of the collection with mobile money, providing them with increased income visibility and permitting better financial planning.
Last month, Twiga announced that it has raised $23.75 million in a Series B equity round led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from existing investors including the International Finance Corporation, TLcom Capital and Creadev. An additional $6 million in debt was raised from OPIC and Alpha Mundi.