More than $4 billion worth of food items are lost in Sub-Saharan Africa every year due to inadequate storage and transportation. At the same time, The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 50% of vaccines are wasted globally every year because of temperature control, logistics and shipment-related issues.
This percentage is likely to be higher in Africa where around 60% of the population live in rural areas with limited infrastructure. At the same time, the absence of standardised storage and transportation processes, as well as a lack of data and clarity on supply chain processes makes it difficult for insurers to create effective products to cover the risks associated with this product category.
As a result, businesses and other stakeholders have to shoulder all the risks which means the cost is passed on to the end customer, leading to comparatively higher prices than in other parts of the world.
Gricd, a technology company that develops Internet of Things-powered solutions to support the last-mile delivery of perishable goods, has secured $1.5 million in a seed funding round led by Atlantica Ventures, with participation from Vested World, Jaza Rift and Katapult, to expand across Africa and deliver new solutions that will make it easier to insure perishable goods on the continent. The company has also rebranded as ‘Figorr’, signalling its new focus on software solutions.
“This funding comes at a great time for us, as it enables us to leverage the data we have gathered over the years to provide further support for our customers with managing the risks associated with perishable goods on the continent," says Oghenetega Iortim, CEO and founder of Figorr. "At a time when the price of everything seems to be rising and the global economy is experiencing significant challenges, unnecessary wastage should not be compounding these issues. We are excited to onboard more customers across the continent and roll out our solutions to enable more Africans to maximise the value of their goods and maintain profitability."
Figorr already works with some of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers and food companies in Nigeria and across Africa to enable the effective transportation and storage of food and pharmaceuticals. It has successfully tracked more than 110 million perishable items and supported its customers to realise more than $200 million in savings.
Over the years, the company has built a framework for understanding the risks associated with the transportation and storage of perishable and temperature-sensitive goods in Africa. The new funding will support the rollout of a proprietary risk management platform that will provide data that will make it easier to insure perishable and temperature-sensitive goods on the continent.
According to Aniko Szigetvari, Founding Partner at Atlantica Ventures, "Tega and the Figorr team have built a powerful suite of products and services to support the cold chain industry and ensure the quality of perishable goods and pharmaceutical products in Nigeria and across the continent. We are excited to support the growth and regional expansion of the company."