Releaf, a Nigerian based agritech company has raised US$3.3-million from investors led by Samurai Incubate Africa. Releaf has proprietary hardware (called Kraken) that is used to assist palm oil farmers produce high quality vegetable oil at a fraction of the typical time. Nigeria has a large palm oil sector that consists of over 4 million smallholder farmers. Other participating investors are Consonance Investment Managers, Stephen Pagliuca (co-chairman of Bain Capital and co-owner of the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association) and Jeff Ubben (co-founder and chairman of ValueAct Capital, a hedge fund based in the USA). The stake acquired was not disclosed.
Samurai Incubate Africa is a Japanese based venture capital fund that supports the growth of companies aiming to solve social problems and disrupt existing inefficient systems in Africa through collaboration with Japanese companies. The company, based in Tokyo, Japan targets sectors in energy, healthcare, financial services, agriculture, retail, logistics, transportation and entertainment. The fund has US$18.4-million which was secured from over 50 limited partners based in developed economies. The fund was established in 2018 and has previously invested in startups such as Shyft Power Solutions, Oneport, Eden Life and Evolve Credit.