€3.3 million of catalyzed capital to support smallholder farmers in reducing food waste

Pymwymic (‘Put Your Money Where Your Meaning Is Community’) is proud to announce that despite turbulent times due to Covid-19 we successfully closed a €3.3m Series B investment round together with local African-based KawiSafi Ventures, Energy Access Ventres (EAV), Factor E, Stichting DOEN in our portfolio company, InspiraFarms. Inspirafarms is now in a solid position to scale their impact: to reduce food waste in developing countries by offering small-scale, cold storage and packhouses for local farmers and agribusinesses. This successful recent Series B round also managed to unlock a grant from Shell Foundation of €1.2m. We are proud to have played a strong catalytic role in this investment round and was also supported by co-investments of individual Pymwymic members.

While the world is producing 17% more food than it did 30 years ago, almost half of that never reaches consumers. More than 815 million people globally suffer from hunger, a figure that is only set to increase as the world’s population is predicted to reach 9.1 billion by 2050. Regions like Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are expected to require an increase of 112.4%. Increasing food availability does not only depend on growing food production, but also on reducing food losses, and making supply chains more efficient in matching present and future demand and supply.

UK-origin, InspiraFarms seeks to solve a major obstacle in Africa which is to reduce post-harvest losses within the first mile of distribution by 25-50%. With their off-grid cold storage facilities, they are not only reducing food loss, but offering better access to high-value markets for agribusinesses and smallholder farmers. They are furthermore adding to the increased need for data and analytics on this topic.

Pymwymic is proud of have been an active impact investor in InspiraFarms from seed-stage onwards. In 2018, Pymwymic increased its commitment to the impact company participating in the Series A round, together with EAV and Stichting DOEN. Since this round, the company has taken many strategic decisions to better position themselves for the market and become more robust.

What’s instore for InspiraFarms ahead?

InspiraFarms has made significant changes to its product catalogue, with feedback from clients for a simplified and cheaper version of their product offering. They are already seeing more repeated clients and better margins with this change. They also managed to reduce costs while still generating commercial results. Currently, they are completing one of their flagship projects with Kakuzi in Kenya, one of the largest agribusiness exporters in Kenya and listed on the Kenyan and London stock exchange. This project will be fundamental in influencing others and positioning its brand. Furthermore, InspiraFarms has learned and developed a greater focus on customer experience, satisfaction and project quality by focusing and balancing resources and expertise into target countries in East and Southern Africa, and therefore correcting some of the ongoing gaps in capacity that they have faced in the past. 

On top of that, with a stronger local shareholder base (KawiSafi) and a new more independent, smaller and technical board, governance is being way better positioned to support the leadership team. 

Maarten van Dam of Pymwymic who is very well connected within the agricultural sector, involved in over 40 startups, including farming in Africa, and seated on a board of one of the largest and oldest farming cooperatives in The Netherlands will now be on the Advisory Board of InspiraFarms and states: 

“InspiraFarms is now in the perfect position to make the impact they sought out for, and scale as a business. They are tackling the tremendous issue of food waste in developing countries and their solution sets the example that business can be a force for good.”

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