Gricd, a tech company that develops Internet of Things-powered solutions to support the last-mile delivery of perishable goods, has secured $1.5m in seed funding 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 firm also rebranded as ‘Figorr’, signalling its new focus on software solutions.
What is the market offering of Figorr?
Figorr develops Internet of Things-powered (IoT-powered) solutions that complement existing infrastructure and assets to reduce or eliminate losses associated with the transportation and storage of temperature sensitive and perishable goods in Africa.
The company’s solutions provide real time data on location, humidity, temperature and other key 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 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 (WHO) estimates that more than fifty percent of vaccines are wasted globally every year because of temperature control, logistics and shipment-related issues. In addition, this percentage is likely to be higher in Africa where around sixty percent 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 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 category. As a result, businesses and other stakeholders have to shoulder all the risks which mean the cost is passed on to the end customer, leading to comparatively higher prices than other parts of the world.
What does the funding mean for Figorr’s clients?
Oghenetega Iortim, CEO and Founder of Figorr, said, “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 clients with managing the risks associated with perishable goods in Africa.”
“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 clients across the continent and roll out our solutions to enable more Africans to maximise the value of their goods and maintain profitability.”
Aniko Szigetvari, Founding Partner at Atlantica Ventures, commented, “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.”
Figorr already works with some of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers and food companies in Nigeria and across the African continent 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 firm has built a framework for understanding the risks associated with the transportation and storage of perishable and temperature sensitive goods in Africa. The funding will support the roll out of a risk management platform that will provide data that will make it easier to insure perishable and temperature sensitive goods on the continent.