ReelFruit, a leading producer of dried fruit snacks in Nigeria, has announced that it has secured $3 million in its Series A funding round. It made this known in a blog post on its website, published on Thursday.
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The investment was led by Alitheia IDF, a private equity fund with a focus on financing SMEs in Africa. Also participating in the round were Samata Capital and Flying Doctor Healthcare Investment Company.
ReelFruit says the investment will enable it to expand its production of dried fruits, add new products to its existing offerings, and increase exports by up to 15MT within the first year.
A crucial part of its plan will be the acquisition of a factory in Ogun State, which will allow it to bolster its monthly production to 20MT, five times its current capacity. The company will also hire 200 people to work at the factory within a year of its latest funding.
In a series of Tweets about the investment, Affiong Williams, founder and CEO of ReelFruit, noted that the news demonstrated Nigeria’s agribusiness potential.
“It’s been a nine-year journey,” she said. “We believed that if we created a market for healthy dried fruit snacks, we could positively impact the fruit value chain and unleash massive employment opportunities.
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“We want to serve as an example: we’re a niche business that is expanding into new markets. We’ll scale dried fruit output, develop new products, and increase 10x exports.”
ReelFruit disclosed plans to strengthen its supply chain. Moves in this direction include the creation of an agro-extension services program for 250 registered mango and pineapple farmers, which will help increase fruit quality and yields thus improving the supply of raw materials to the company’s factory.
There are also plans to establish an e-commerce channel for sales to the United States before the end of 2021, and initiate collaborations with other businesses that could white-label dried fruits produced at ReefFruit’s production facility for export.
Tokunbo Ishmael, co-founder and principal partner at Alitheia IDF, expressed confidence in ReelFruit’s capacity to scale its food production, in view of the support it has received.
“Alitheia IDF is proud to support ReelFruit’s ongoing efforts to boost food production in Nigeria and positively impact communities through deliberate partnerships with local farmers, distributors, and retailers,”
“The investment will strengthen the company to unlock further growth, upskill farmers and improve economic outcomes for thousands of women who play a significant role in the production of ReelFruit’s products.”
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