Figorr secures $1.5 million seed funding to facilitate data-driven insurance for perishable goods in Africa
May 15, 2023181 views0 comments
By Cynthia Ezekwe
Figorr, 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 expand across Africa and deliver new solutions that will make it easier to insure perishable goods on the continent.
The seed funding round was led by Atlantica Ventures, a digital innovation firm,with participation from Vested World, an early-stage investment fund manager, Jaza Rift Ventures,an African healthcare impact investment fund focused on innovative early stage startups and invention-based enterprises that transform people’s health in Africa, and Katapult, an investment company, focused on highly scalable impact tech startups.
The funding also came at a time the company rebranded as ‘Figorr’, marking its new focus on software solutions.
Figorr develops 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.
A statement from the company noted that 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 50 per cent of vaccines are wasted globally every year because of temperature control, logistics and shipment-related issues, with a percentage likely to be higher in Africa where around 60 per cent of the population live in rural areas with limited infrastructure.
Also, 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 product 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.
To this end, Figorr has engaged 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.
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 roll out 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.
Oghenetega Iortim, CEO and founder of Figorr noted that the funding comes at a great time for the tech company as it enables it to leverage the data it has gathered over the years to provide further support for its customers with managing the risks associated with perishable goods on the continent.
He explained that at a time when the global economy is experiencing significant change, unnecessary wastage should not be compounding the issue, while expressing his delight over the company’s opportunity to onboard more customers across the continent and roll out solutions to enable more Africans to maximise the value of their goods and maintain profitability.
Aniko Szigetvari, founding partner at Atlantica Ventures, disclosed that 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,’’ Szigetvari added.