Moroccan B2B tech-enabled food distribution platform, Terraa, has secured $1.5 million pre-seed funding in a recent round led by FoodLabs, a European early-stage VC investor and venture studio for food, sustainability, and health, along with UM6P Ventures, Outlierz Ventures, Musha Ventures, and DFS Lab. Founded in 2020 by Youssef Benkirane and Benoit De Vigne, Terraa aims to address the fragmented and traditional fresh food supply chain in Morocco by directly sourcing produce from farmers and supplying it to resellers. The startup will use the funds to strengthen its logistics infrastructure, expand its reach across Moroccan cities, and explore new markets within the region in the coming year.
According to Benkirane, the traditional Moroccan fresh produce market has been characterized by intermediaries who buy products from farmers at low prices only to sell them for huge profits, leading to inconsistencies in prices and quality. Terraa aims to provide a consistent and competitive market for fresh produce, ensuring that farmers receive fair prices and resellers benefit from reliable prices and high-quality goods.
“In the next few months, we will build some collection centers in all the major agricultural cities of Morocco. We will use them to store the produce we have collected from the farmers for distribution to the end customers,” Benkirane told TechCrunch. While Morocco is Terraa’s current focus, Benkirane has expressed the company’s intention to expand to other African countries once they have a playbook in terms of operations, tech, and city expansion.
Terraa’s operation model ensures that farmers have the time they need to concentrate on farming as the startup handles everything, from sourcing from the farmers to the delivery to the end consumer. The company aims to empower farmers with best practices and optimize their production by providing them with accurate data on demand forecasting. This, in turn, will help farmers reduce post-harvest losses caused by overproduction, ultimately reducing food waste.
Till Hoelzer, an investor at FoodLabs, expressed excitement about Terraa’s mission of making food more affordable and accessible throughout Africa while ensuring secure income for farmers. He sees a massive opportunity in leveraging technology to drive quicker and more efficient transactions in regions where mobile penetration is ubiquitous, but food supply chains remain highly complex.
Terraa’s founders, Benkirane and De Vigne, bring extensive experience in the food tech and e-commerce space. Benkirane previously worked with food techs such as Zapp, which he helped scale in both Europe and the U.S., while De Vigne held several executive roles, including at e-commerce platform Jumia.
Terraa’s innovative approach to the fresh food supply chain in Morocco and its plans for expansion into other African countries in the future hold promise for the continent’s agriculture industry, improving market access for farmers and ensuring that consumers have access to high-quality fresh produce at competitive prices.