East Africa Fruits Completes Series A to Build Critical Supply Chain Infrastructure for Transporting Produce from Farm to Market

May 06, 2020 · 2 min read

While the new COVID-19 reality has overwhelmed our feeds with bad news, it is important to celebrate the good news and big wins when they come. This week, one of our recent equity investments, East Africa Fruits (EAF), announced the closing of its Series A round. Congratulations to founder Elia Timotheo and the whole EAF team on an amazing accomplishment – we couldn’t be more proud!

While EAF is one of our more recent investments, closing in the second half of 2019, we have already been blown away by what they’ve achieved in such a short amount of time. With just a small injection of equity capital from FINCA Ventures (read Why We Invested here), EAF was able to raise much needed additional debt and grow the business over 41 percent from the first half of 2019 to the second. From our first meeting during the due diligence process, Elia spoke of the latent demand in the market for his service, and his frustration that he was unable to meet that demand due to capital constraints. In the second half of 2019 and beginning of 2020, he has demonstrated just how right he was. We can’t wait to see the growth of EAF’s business with the $3.1M in Series A equity and debt they just closed.

The coronavirus has disrupted life and industry across the world, with Tanzania being no exception. But food remains essential, and where others see challenges, East Africa Fruits sees opportunity. While the company’s customer base of high-end hotels and restaurants has dwindled as the tourism industry has shut down and social distancing has been put in place, growth from supermarkets and informal vendors has more than made up for it. EAF is building critical supply chain infrastructure that can help to reduce food loss and ease logistical constraints to provide more stability and resilience in food supply to rapidly urbanizing markets. Now more than ever, as incomes drop precipitously and food shortages seem likely, EAF’s service is needed to ensure fresh food gets to the right place at the right time, for the lowest possible cost.

In the press release for the Series A announcement, Elia said:

The completion of our Series A funding opens up incredible opportunities for East Africa Fruits. We’re eager to scale our operations, expand the reach of our smallholder farmer network and our distribution footprint, and ultimately to demonstrate real impact in the lives of local farmers and informal food vendors.

Now that Series A funding is secured, we are excited to see the EAF team produce these results and more!

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