Kenyan startup, Twiga Foods, recently secured a $2.5 million (KES 300 million) loan from the Kenyan Government for onward lending to suppliers and customers. The news of this brought varied reactions from different players in the industry as the source of the funds was the Hustler Fund that the government promised to use to boost small enterprises.
Twiga Foods has now launched ‘Soko Solution’ which offers manufacturers, both big and small, the technology to leverage on best-in-class warehousing, optimized fulfillment, marketing, and advertising support. The new system will also help manufacturers gain access to SAAS metrics, payment
Through Soko Solution, Twiga offers manufacturers, both big and small, the technology to leverage on best-in-class warehousing, optimized fulfilment, marketing, and advertising support creating a perfect omni-channel experience. Additionally, manufacturers gain access to SAAS metrics, payment tracking, call-centre support, and on-ground sales agents at an affordable and competitive cost.
“The key aspects that make Soko Solution a viable business addition revolve around the manufacturer having access to more sales opportunities, a tech-enabled and optimized fulfillment infrastructure and direct market sales push through our Soko Yetu Agents. This will enable higher visibility and penetration of their products. All of this is complemented by data availability via our Sokolytics platform for analytics and reports,” Twiga Foods said in a statement.
When giving out the $2.5 million loan to the Agri-tech start-up, President William Ruto said that Twiga Foods would be given the money to lend to the 140,000 suppliers and customers across Kenya. The government has made the money available to Twiga Foods so that that Kenyans can borrow at lower rates and hopefully increase their earnings.
“That Sh300 million ($2.5 million), CS Chelugui, make sure that the customers of Twiga have access to the Hustler Fund and instead of them borrowing at one per cent per day, they should be able to borrow at eight per cent per year,” the President added.
Twiga, an agri-tech firm serving a monthly base of about 33,000 vendors, employs technology to aggregate demand and streamline logistics in the distribution of farm commodities to small-scale business operators in city estates.
The firm early this month announced plans to downsize its workforce of 1,000 staff saying it has transitioned all its trade development representatives to agents as it changes its operations into an agency model.
The announcement came just months after the company expanded its business with an Sh1.6 billion investment.