Cairo-Based Agri-Supply Chain Platform FreshSource Raises A Seed Round Billed As The Largest Agritech Round In Egypt
By leveraging technology and data, FreshSource aims to bring about a shift in how fresh food is sourced, moved and sold in Egypt.
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Cairo-based business-to-business (B2B) agri-supply chain platform FreshSource has raised a seed round -billed as the largest agritech round in Egypt- led by investors 4DX Ventures and Wamda.
Launched in 2019 by brother and sister duo Farah and Omar Emara, the platform leverages technology and data to bring about a shift in how fresh food is sourced, moved and sold in Egypt.
The idea first materialized in late 2018, when the Emara siblings decided to use the industry knowledge they acquired working in their family business of over 30 years, Emarco Group, which is a cold chain logistics company in Egypt.
"The market was extremely empty then with no other startups regionally attempting to introduce technology and investors were not focusing on the sector," explains Omar. "The value proposition that FreshSource brings is our ability to use our data to have optimal pricing for both our producers and our customers, leverage our technology to offer a streamlined process from end to end and build on 30 years of know-how from our family business which runs one of the largest cold-chain facilities in Egypt. These three assets solidify FreshSource as a leading and reliable fresh food supplier!"
Omar Emara and Farah Emara, co-founders, FreshSource. Source: FreshSource
Agriculture accounts for about 11.3% of Egypt's gross domestic product and for 28% of all jobs in the country, as per a report by the United States Agency for International Development. But with a high number of inefficiencies within the local supply chain, some of the industry's pressing contemporary concerns include inflated fresh food costs, high amounts of food loss and wastage, and extremely low profits for farmers.
FreshSource aims to address these by, first and foremost, enabling farmers to directly connect with businesses without involving any third-party intermediaries. "FreshSource works with a range of producers, such as medium and large-scale farms," explains Farah. "We leverage our data and technology to help us make informed decisions on what to buy, when to buy it and when to sell it. This coupled with our accurate forecasting and cold storage expertise which means that we are able to maximize profits for our producers and reduce costs for businesses."
Part of the startup's mission is also to create sustainable fresh food systems that could potentially enhance the quality of business for producers and agricultural avenues as well as create a positive impact on the planet. "On average, we empower producers to increase their income by around 20% and businesses to reduce their costs by approximately 15%," adds Farah.
FreshSource's team members. Source: FreshSource
The co-founders say FreshSource is now growing at a rapid pace, with the startup already serving customers across 11 Egyptian cities. "Innovation is a key pillar to FreshSource's success," says Omar. "This does not only relate to the actual platform but also innovative ways of sourcing, selling and building networks in the agriculture industry." But the co-founder also adds that it will be important for the FreshSource team to keep an eye out for the rapidly changing technologies and trends within the global agricultural ecosystem.
"I believe that blockchain will have an immense impact on the value chain of food, because this has already started happening and will only continue to transform the industry," explains Omar. "Agriculture accounts for 40% of the global workforce and represents 6.4% of the entire world's economic production. Getting food from farm to table is an extremely complicated process with a lot of intermediaries. People are oblivious to what has been sprayed on the food they are eating or how it has been handled. Using blockchain to promote the traceability of food will have a transformative impact!"
Now, with the fresh infusion of capital, the sibling duo are looking to expand FreshSource's services within Egypt and beyond, while also investing in their technology platform and growing their local team in Egypt.Related: We Got Funded: MENA-Based Edtech Platform Playbook Raises US$700,000 In A Pre-Seed Funding Round