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$32 million. That is the value of the series A round of equity and debt financing secured by Ramani, an African software start-up building a cloud network of micro-distribution centres for the continent’s $1 trillion consumer-packaged goods supply chain.
The funding round was led by renowned global technology investors Flexcap Ventures and Infoscout founder and chief executive Jared Schreiber.
Ramani also raised an undisclosed seed funding in 2021 that included participation from Village Global, Goat Capital, Musha Ventures, Hustle Fund, Future Africa, Launch Africa Ventures, Raba capital, and renowned angel investor, James Beshara.
Ramani was originally backed by Y combinator. With this new capital funding, it will scale its network of micro-distribution centres (MDCs) and also launch a new micro-credit offering for select MDCs.
Founded in 2019, Ramani is focused on fixing fragmented consumer goods supply chains that traditionally suffer from lack of data visibility and are burdened by limited access to financial services.
To address these challenges, Ramani provides tech-enabled inventory management systems, procurement, and point of sale software to digitise the processes of MDCs, helping them gain real-time sales insights and inventory visibility.
Ramani is then also able to leverage this data to offer up inventory with delayed payment terms, enabling them to scale. This year, the company acquired a lending license from the Central Bank of Tanzania to scale their customers further.
MDCs in Ramani’s network have been able to grow their revenues by at least 20% since subscribing and leveraging the platform’s diverse functionalities such as real time inventory tracking.
The upcoming microcredit vertical will give qualified resellers access to interest free credit lines to help them manage their cash flow more efficiently. Ramani also plans to create ways in which Africans are able to earn a passive income from the trillion dollar CPG industry by investing with the company.
Commenting on the round, Ramani CEO and co-founder Iain Usiri said, “Ultimately, we want to make it easier for businesses to succeed in Africa and this new capital is another brick in that foundation.
“We’ve leveraged our Silicon Valley relationships and partnered with globally renowned investors, many of whom are successful founders themselves. We’re committed to repaying their faith in us and in Africa.”
Andrew Vigneault, co-founder and general partner of Flexcap Ventures added, “The CPG industry in Africa is being systematically transformed by Ramani’s huge ambition for a vastly improved and more efficient supply chain. It has been a pleasure to witness Ramani’s success and traction so far and we are certain the company will continue to achieve market-leading growth, fuelled by a strong leadership team with exceptional technical expertise.”
Ramani was founded by brothers Iain and Calvin Usiri, and Kibet Martin who were born and raised in Tanzania and Kenya, respectively. They have backgrounds in computer science and finance from Stanford, Google, Salesforce and CapGemini.
Their decision to return home to build an industry-defining product was buoyed by personal conviction to harness their skills and ingenuity and to solve local challenges. Ramani joins other companies such as Wasoko, Tushop and Pando DAO to operate out of Silicon Zanzibar, the public-private initiative to attract and relocate tech companies and workers from across Africa and beyond to the island of Zanzibar.