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Meet Peter Njonjo: Seniormost Coca-Cola Manager In Africa Who Quit Job To Start Twiga Foods

Twiga Foods is a business-to-business marketplace platform that sources produce directly from farmers and delivers it to urban retailers. The firm delivers produce to small retailers from farmers thus cutting off brokers. Apart from bridging the gap between farmers and buyers, they also finance small to medium scale farmers.  

In this article, WoK highlights everything you need to know about Twiga Foods – the only Kenyan company that made it to the list of the top 100 most influential companies in the world.

Twiga Foods

Twiga Foods was established in 2014. It lets retailers place orders via mobile devices and grants them 48 hours of interest-free credit, giving them time to sell what they order to customers before the bill comes due.

In 2019 it began to connect FMCGs and manufacturers with retailers in Kenya joining the industry that is majorly dominated by MarketForce and Sokowatch. 

Success

The company currently has over 100,000 customers who use their services in Kenya and delivers more than 600 metric tons of products to over 10,000 retailers every day.

It has 10,000 businesses connected to the platform with over 8,000 farmers across the country.

The popular commodities traded on the platform are mainly groceries such as tomatoes, vegetables and fruits.

The company was recently included in the 2022 Times 100 Most Influential Companies in the world in the list released on Thursday 30th March 2022.

This is after its newly launched service of allowing vendors to pay for the products after sales made it popular among Kenyan Entrepreneurs.

It was in the list alongside other tech giants such as Amazon, Netflix and Disney just to mention but a few. In 2018, it was named as the Most Promising Company of the Year at the Africa CEO Forum Awards held in Abidjan.

Funding

Twiga Foods is one of the most funded start-ups in Kenya attracting Ksh 8.2 billion funding. In 2019, the firm raised Ksh 3 billion in the Series B round – USD 23.75 million equity and USD 6.25 million debt.

In November 2021 the company announced a Ksh 5 billion Series C round to scale its operations in the East African region.

The Series C funding was led by Paris private equity firm Credev and was participated by different companies such as TLcom Capital, IFC Ventures, DOB Equity, OP Finnfund Global and Endeavor Catalyst Fund.

Cumulatively, the Twiga has raised US$160 million (Ksh23.2 billion at current exchange rates)

Twiga Foods Founder and Leadership team

Twiga Foods was co-founded by Kenyan Peter Njonjo and his friend Grant Brooke. Njonjo who, previously worked at Coca-Cola for 21 years and was the most senior manager in Africa, serves as the CEO of the company.

Other key leaders include Hein Pretorius who serves as the Non-Executive Chairman, Kikonde Mwatela as the Chief Operating Officer, Mahia John Mahiani who is the Chief Financial Officer and Caine Wanjau who serves as the Chief Technology Officer.

The company has employed over one thousand people across the East African region.

Galana-Kulalu scheme

President William Ruto’s government allotted Twiga 20,000 acreage to undertake maize farming at the Galana-Kulalu project.

According to a report on Business Daily, Peter Njonjo went ahead to transfer the 20,000 acres to Selu Limited, a company he fully owns.

The CEO had earlier on stated that the company is owned by Latin American and US firms. Twiga had earlier in the year awarded Ksh300 million from the Hustler Fund to be used to lend to its suppliers.

“Yes, I’m currently the only director at Selu Limited but I’m working to onboard more shareholders and will give an update in a month’s time,” he was quoted by BD.