Releaf Group and MAX.NG have benefitted from $200 000 in funding from the newly founded Harambeans Prosperity Fund which aims to back entrepreneurs from Cape Town to Cairo.
Releaf Group, co-founded by Harambeans Emmanuel Udotong and Ikenna Nzewi, looks to solve the problem of sourcing quality raw material for Nigerian food factories.
Between 80 and 90% of agricultural supply in Sub-Saharan Africa is made up of smallholder farmers and middlemen. Due to the decentralisation, unreliability and variable quality by farmers and middlemen, factories are left competing for a limited amount of raw material.
Releaf uses new technology to provide raw material access to factories and implements quality control mechanisms. This has resulted in consistent quality, access to 80% more raw material and an improved relationship with farmers.
MAX (Metro Africa Xpress) is an Uber-like moto-taxi company in Nigeria, founded by Harambean Adetayo Bamiduro.
Bamiduro became a Harambean in 2015, while still at MIT. His dream of leveraging technology to make an impact and his strong disposition towards executing ideas, saw Bamiduro turn Nigeria’s public transport challenge into a logistics opportunity. Lagos’s poorly developed public transport system creates a bottleneck for growth in Africa’s most populous country. Harambean Adetayo Bamiduro and his co-founder Chinedu Azodoh decided it was on them to tackle this barrier.
In response to the pandemic, the logistics company has empowered more of its riders to deliver supplies to households and individuals in order to make more cash-flow available during this period. MAX has provided a free delivery platform to verified older citizens who are aged 50 and above.
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According to Okendo Lewis-Gayle founder of the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance: “Thanks to the foresight of our philanthropic partners, our co-investment model enables us to leverage the stellar track record of Harambeans with the investment community to unlock as much as $9,000,000 in additional capital for African entrepreneurs at this critical time. I pray that the spotlight of Harambeans Prosperity Fund will embolden investors across Africa and around the world to back entrepreneurs from Cape Town to Cairo.”
Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance is made up of over 300 African innovators (known as Harambeans) who have pledged “to work together as one” to unlock the potential of Africa. Since 2008, these Harambeans have developed high impact ventures across Africa with lasting social and economic impact. Collectively, Harambeans have generated over 3000 jobs and raised over $500m from Google Ventures, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Alibaba.
The Alliance’s programmes are designed to recycle the knowledge, network, and capital within the Alliance to enable emerging entrepreneurs to start, scale and grow market creating innovations across Africa. Each year Harambeans are selected from a pool of over 3000 applicants from highly competitive universities, VC firms and accelerators across Africa and around the world. To date, the network has spawned a series of tech-enabled ventures such as Andela, Yoco and Fibre.