Food tech start-up unveils digital platform to bring ‘transparency, efficiency, and sustainability to the African food supply chain’
In Africa, the food supply chain is plagued by intermediation, operational inefficiencies, and a lack of technology and data, while the continent is particularly facing global warming issues and over population. This leads to inflated prices, poor quality of food, and significant waste, all of which disproportionately impact farmers and consumers.
Morrocco’s Terraa claims it addresses these issues by purchasing directly from farmers and fulfilling deliveries to fruit and vegetable vendors. The tech enabled B2B platform connecting farmers to fruit and vegetable retailers and supermarkets, as well as hotels and restaurants, tapping into what it estimates a $500 billion (€465 billion) market with the potential to reach over 60% of the African population.
A sustainable food ecosystem
Terraa's mission is to create a sustainable food supply ecosystem that meets the population's need to access nutrition over the next few years. Terraa claims it will provide hundreds of millions of Africans with safe and affordable food using its own technology and logistics infrastructure.
The approach supports the economic development of all actors in the supply chain, the food tech innovator claims. Via the Terraa digital platform farmers are able to earn higher incomes and access stable markets at better prices, while retailers benefit from competitive prices and a consistent supply of high-quality goods. The platform also delivers environmental benefits, as it reduces food waste and lowers greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater usage, and land usage.
The start-up revealed it has already achieved strong traction in its first weeks of operation, showing the need for a tech-enabled solution to meet the challenges of the African food supply chain.
“We saw an opportunity to use technology to bring transparency, efficiency, and sustainability to the African food supply chain. Terraa is not just about connecting farmers and retailers, it's about creating a more equitable and environmentally-friendly food system for everyone,” said Terraa Co-founder and CEO Youssef Benkirane.
Raising capital for accelerated rollout
Terraa has just closed a $1.5 million pre-seed round to double down on its mission of building a sustainable food supply ecosystem in Africa. The round, which is the largest Pre-seed round in Morocco, was led by FoodLabs, with UM6P Ventures, Outlierz Ventures, Musha Ventures, and DFS Lab joining the round. With the fresh funding, Terraa will grow the team, expand in major cities in Morocco, and build out its technology infrastructure.
"It's a privilege to be a part of this innovative solution to the complex issues faced by the African food supply chain. We're excited to see the immediate positive impact our technology can have on the lives of millions of farmers and consumers," said Benoit De Vigne, Co-Founder and COO at Terraa.
"We're excited about Terraa's mission of making food more affordable and accessible throughout Africa whilst ensuring secure income for farmers. In regions where mobile penetration is ubiquitous, food supply chains remain highly complex,” added Till Hoelzer, investor at FoodLabs, the Berlin-based pan-European Early Stage VC investor and venture studio for food, sustainability and health. “We see a massive opportunity in leveraging technology to drive quicker and more efficient transactions."
“The start-up founders will significantly contribute to the Moroccan and African agritech systems as Terraa’s platform directly connects farmers to urban markets and secures and improves their revenues,” said Lamiaa El Amrani El Mrini, Investment Director at UM6P Ventures, an African based early-stage ventures firm. “By welcoming Terraa to its portfolio, UM6P Ventures is thrilled to be part of improving smallholder farmers’ livelihoods.”