The Gateway to Africa's Startup Ecosystem
The Gateway to Africa's Startup Ecosystem

Startup of the Month: Releaf

Releaf is an agricultural technology company that develops proprietary hardware and software solutions to improve the efficiency, profitability, and climate resilience of food processing in Africa.

Ikenna Nzewi and Uzoma Ayogu founded the company in 2017 with the goal of developing climate-adaptive supply chains as Africa’s population grows.

Releaf’s first patented technology is the Kraken, an industrial oil palm processor that is compatible with smallholder varieties. The company aggregates smallholder crops, processes them with Kraken, and sells high-quality vegetable oil to consumer brands. The company’s software connects it to over 2,000 smallholder farmers, ensuring consistent, large-scale supply. Releaf also uses digital technologies such as USSD and open banking to work seamlessly with its network of smallholder farmers.

The company has a competitive advantage in production quality, with CEO Ikenna Nzewi claiming that the company produces vegetable oil with 3.5% free fatty acid, compared to the industry standard of 5%. The company’s future plans include moving into new geographies and possibly expanding its crop offerings.

Releaf recently raised $3.3 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Samurai Incubate Africa to launch two new technologies: Kraken II, a portable version of the company’s award-winning palm nut desheller, and SITE, a geospatial mapping application that informs the most profitable positioning of food processing assets.

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