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 to support its expansion across Africa and the delivery of 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. The funding round was led by Atlantica Ventures, with participation from Vested World, Jaza Rift and Katapult.
According to Oghenetega Iortim, CEO and founder of Figorr, “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.”
“At a time where 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”.Oghenetega Iortim, CEO and founder of Figorr
Figorr develops IoT-powered solutions that complement existing infrastructure and assets to reduce or eliminate losses associated with transporting and storing temperature-sensitive and perishable goods in Africa.
One of the investors in the round, Aniko Szigetvari, a Founder Partner at Atlantic Ventures, claims that Figorr has been successful in creating the necessary infrastructure to assure high-quality and efficient food distribution and supply in Nigeria and Africa.
“Tega and the Figorr team have built a powerful suite of products and services to support the cold chain industry and ensure 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”.Aniko Szigetvari, Founding Partner at Atlantica Ventures
The company’s solutions provide real-time data on location, humidity, temperature and other vital data points, enabling businesses and other stakeholders in agriculture, healthcare, logistics and other sectors across Africa to maximise the value of perishable and temperature-sensitive goods such as vaccines, insulin and food.
More about Figorr
More than $4 billion worth of food items are lost every year in Sub-Saharan Africa due to inadequate storage and transportation. At the same time, The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that more than 50 per cent 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 per cent 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.
Founded in 2022, Gricd – now Figorr, is an agricultural technology company enabling businesses to reduce loss of temperature-controlled goods by offering real-time information on storage conditions and the location of assets. This helps create an unending supply chain of food distribution across the board, year in and year out.
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.
With this latest raise, it intends to pursue partnerships with insurance companies, which its CEO says would help businesses with perishable products to have some coverage in the event of a loss.
“Because of the high number of losses that happen in the perishable space, you find that a lot of insurance companies stay away from providing coverage for customers in this sector. It affects the two parties [beginning with] my customers in the sense that when my customers lose products, they bear a hundred per cent of the losses.
“But that also means they transfer that cost to the end consumer. So you’ll find things like some pharmaceutical products in Nigeria costing three to four times the price that you’ll find in the European market, largely because my customer has lost and is simply passing on the cost to the end consumer,” the CEO said.
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.
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