According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the current inflation rate in Nigeria rose to 20.52% in August, the highest since October 2005. A recent market survey has shown that the cost of staples has risen over 100% in the last 5 years. Vendease began operations in January 2020 with the aim of solving these challenges & inefficiencies in Nigeria’s highly fragmented food sector using a marketplace model that connects suppliers and farms to restaurants and food businesses, with deliveries facilitated within 24 hours.
According to TechCrunch, over the next couple of months, Vendease switched from its middleman role — after noticing that some of these businesses complained of delivery times, quality of food supplies, and inadequate set-up to handle operations — to one where building on its relationship with food suppliers, buys discounted products in bulk, stores them and makes deliveries through third-party logistics partners.
Founded by Tunde Kara, Olumide Fayankin, Gatumi Aliyu, and Wale Oyepeju, Vendease has raised $30 million in an equity and debt funding round to consolidate its growth and operations in Nigeria and Ghana, and to support its expansion across the continent.
The series A equity round of $20 million was co-led by TLcom and Partech, two of the biggest Africa-focused funds. The equity round also included VentureSouq, Hustle fund, Hack VC, GFR Fund, Kube VC, Magic Fund and Kairos Angels, who re-invested after participating in the previous round. The $10 million debt round was raised from the local finance market. Following their investments, Andreata Muforo, a partner at TLcom, and Cyril Collon, a general partner at Partech, will join Vendease’s board as new directors.
The platform claims to have moved approximately 400,000 metric tonnes of food for its over 2,000 customers and assisted them in saving about $2 million in procurement costs and over 10,000 in person-hours over the last 12 months. Vendease says it has saved its customers almost $500,000 in wastage costs due to overstocking. Present in 8 cities across Nigeria and Ghana, Vendease makes bulk-buy deals with food suppliers, warehouses the food, and guarantees delivery within a day for food supplies at considerably cheaper prices for restaurants.
In an interview with TechCrunch, CEO Tunde Kara said Vendease plans to use the investment to deepen operations, consolidate its presence in eight cities across Nigeria and Ghana (the company recently expanded to the latter), move into new markets and build new products to increase customers’ efficiency.
We’re building technology to efficiently move food from the point of production to the point of consumption. Everything we build at Vendease: financing, logistics, warehousing, inventory management, is tailored towards ensuring that food flows efficiently from that point of production to the point of consumption.Kara said about the company’s drive.