Joseph Rehmann, CEO Victory Farms, a tilapia aquaculture company with hatcheries, nursery ponds, and deep-water cages based in Kenya, has raised $5 million in new funding.
This is coming barely one week after TopUp Mama, a Kenyan startup that connects African eateries with supplies, banking services, and business management tools, acquired US$1.7 million in venture capital to help it expand.
The investment was spearheaded by Ed Brakeman, a senior managing director at Bain Capital, and Hans den Bieman, the founder and former CEO of Mowi, one of the world’s largest fish enterprises.
This is the startup’s first institutional investment, following seven internal angel rounds from the same group of equity and debt investors. The funds will be used to develop the Kenyan company’s operations in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania.
Joseph Rehmann founded Victory Farms in 2015. Rehmann teamed up with Steve Moran, a longtime business associate, to research Lake Victoria and undertake some feasibility studies on how technology could help the country’s cold chain sectors.
They came to the conclusion that there was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to completely rebuild the fish value chain.
Victory Farms was started in mid-2016 with an angel round to alleviate a $1.5 billion fish shortage in the market.
According to Victory Farm, technology is being utilized to increase fish production while also cutting prices for the hundreds of market women who buy fish in small batches to cook and sell at local food markets.
Rehmann stated that run a tech-enabled platform and have grown 2x faster than any other African fish company. Victory Farm has built the world’s most effective data-driven service for half the price of the current global leader.
With a cutting-edge RTM cold chain that uses predictive analytics to supply fish to thousands of market women every day across Kenya with less than 1% spoilage, the company sells to Africans in the mass market.
He added that the startup has over 54 retail outlets where over 15,000 market women go to buy fish, and they don’t need electricity or ice.
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