Releaf, agri-tech startup has been selected for the Silicon
Valley-based accelerator Y Combinator, bagging itself US$120,000 in
funding as a result.
Releaf aims to build trust between various
stakeholders in agribusiness, allowing sellers to bid for active buyer
contracts and sellers with mutual contacts to the buyer given
Sellers register and indicate which commodities they
are looking to sell, are presented with a list verified buyer contracts
for those commodities, and apply to fulfill them. Releaf verifies the
seller and allows the buyer to decide if they would like to discuss the
The startup is already participating in the Y
Combinator programme, and will take part in a demo day on August 21.
Until this point, co-founders Ikenna Nzewi, Uzoma Ayogu and Isaiah
Udotong had been working on Releaf part-time while students.
with millions of African businesses do not facilitate many true
business connections, because most business originates through word of
mouth. It became clear to us most of the business-to-business challenges
result from a lack of trust,” said Nwezi.
The company, operating
in stealth mode thus far, has already verified over 600 agribusinesses
and facilitated over 100 connections, but is now publicly allowing
agribusinesses to apply for verification. Releaf aims to register 20,000
businesses over the next 12 months.
“Our vision is to make doing
business in Africa easier. For too long, reliable business has been
restricted to few trusted partners and have not found success finding
partners on B2B sites. At Releaf, we believe with a larger trusted
business network, private sector growth can be stimulated across the
African continent,” Udotong said.