Kibanda TopUp, a Kenyan-based startup which aims to digitise the supply chain for micro, small and medium restaurants in Africa, has raised US$460,000 in pre-seed funding to increase the size of its customer base.

The round was led by JAM Fund, with the participation of mPharma founder and CEO Gregory Rockson, Flutterwave’s CEO, Olugbenga GB Agboola, Cem Garih of Alarko Ventures, Early Berrywood Capital, and other angel investors.

Launched by co-founders Njavwa Mutambo and Emilie Blauwhoff, in February 2021, Kibanda TopUp allows restaurant owners to order inventory such as grains, beverages, poultry, and beef via app or SMS and receive their orders the next day.

“The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Africa was a stark reminder of how fragile Africa’s food supply chains are. With half of the African population eating from largely informal restaurants daily, strengthening restaurants’ supply chains is a matter of food security.

“We are on a mission to increase restaurants’ contribution to African GDP. This means enabling restaurants with the stock and financial services they need to serve Africa’s growing population,” said Mutambo.

Since launch, the startup has served over 130 restaurants in Nairobi, and it has now raised US$460,000 in pre-seed funding which will be used to hire critical team members in engineering and supply chain that will enable fast growth and development of additional products.

“Local informal restaurants are the heart of social commerce in African neighbourhoods. Kibanda Topup has a great opportunity to drive a transformation of these businesses into a formal restaurant cooperative to maximise the economic potential. I am excited about the team behind this journey as they have the right experience and intent to build a huge business,” said Rockson.

Musa Suleiman
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