TopUp Mama trying to clear up sourcing challenges for eating places – •

Inventory-outs, unpredictable costs of farm produce and an absence of working capital are among the many challenges that plague small eating places and meals distributors in rising markets. These are a number of the pain-points that TopUp Mama (beforehand Kibanda TopUp) is working to alleviate since its launch in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, final yr, and they seem like headed in the correct course.

Njavwa Mutambo, who co-founded TopUp Mama with Emilie Blauwhoff (COO), and Andrew Kibe (CTO), in February 2021, advised • that the startup has grown 10 instances within the final one yr, and has over 3,000 retailers (1,000 energetic) utilizing its platform to make orders each month.

The B2B e-commerce startup, which has operations in Nigeria too, makes it handy for eating places and meals distributors to restock. The startup sources provides from distributors and farmers, and makes use of its fleet of autos to ship them to distributors and different end-of-chain customers. It additionally affords short-term credit score.

“The common grownup residing in Nairobi may have a minimum of one meal exterior their houses every single day, however the eating places that help this consumption have extraordinarily fragmented provide chains. The flexibility for them to get merchandise for his or her companies is extraordinarily constrained. These are the identical issues I noticed my mom, a restaurateur for greater than 30 years, take care of and what impressed this enterprise,” TopUp Mama CEO, Mutambo, advised •.

“We work with particular person producers and distributors, handle the procurement course of, after which combination the gadgets in our warehouses, which have chilly chain help. We deal with the last-mile distribution as effectively. Our buy-now-pay-later product permits our shoppers to order extra, and in a approach that grows their companies,” he stated.


TopUp Mama makes it handy for eating places and meals distributors to restock. Picture Credit: TopUp Mama

$1.7 million seed funding

The startup has additionally over the previous few months developed instruments, together with a meals supply platform that helps eating places higher handle their operations and enhance earnings by connecting them to shoppers. These developments comply with a $1.7 million seed funding it closed in March, bringing the overall quantity raised to $2.16 million.

Over the following few years, TopUp Mama is trying to be the go-to provider for 50,000 companies in Kenya and Nigeria, as they work in the direction of being the most important grocery distributor in Africa concentrating on eating places.

The startup enjoys the backing of quite a few buyers together with Ventures Platform and JAM fund, who led the seed spherical with participation from Subsequent Billion Ventures, Future Africa, Jedar Capital, HoaQ Fund, First Examine Africa and San Fransisco primarily based DFS Labs.

“TopUp Mama empowers restaurant house owners by entry to inexpensive foodstuffs and highly effective knowledge analytics to ship the scrumptious meals that hold us sustained and convey us collectively. Importantly, in addition they assist eating places develop their buyer base whereas bettering effectivity,” stated Ventures Platform founder, Kola Aina.

The appliance of expertise in fixing provide chain challenges has been adopted the world over by startups comparable to Kenya-based Twiga Meals, which eliminates middlemen by instantly sourcing produce from farmers and promoting to clients or small distributors, primarily in cities.

Frubana, one other restaurant tech start-up, which began operations in Colombia is in the identical line of enterprise as TopUp Mama. Frubana helps eating places and small retailers to purchase produce instantly from farmers or producers, additionally reducing out the middlemen and additional bringing down the price of produce.

TopUp Mama say they goal to create a “world-class meals provide chain” that may contribute to the continent’s GDP, however first they wish to seize the Kenyan and Nigerian markets.


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