Easyshop Easycook, a Nigeria-based online fresh food processor and grocer targeting working professionals and SMEs, has announced its seed financing led by EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund. Easyshop Easycook will put the funds towards optimizing its online platform and existing farm-to-last-mile supply chain.
The company offers a convenient grocery shopping experience by providing a multi-platform technology solution to suit both customers and partners by delivering fresh food sourced from farms, non-perishables, office supplies and household items to homes, offices, schools, hospitals, hotels, restaurants etc. all over Lagos. Food items can be easily prepped and customized to suit customer needs – some popular options include: grating, cutting, peeling, grinding, etc.
“Our vision is to optimize the fresh food supply chain by empowering the various participants and delivering repeatable value,” said Saudat Salami, founder and CEO. “Despite significant demand on the customer end, we realized that friction was causing massive amounts of waste and fraud in our food supply and it is incredibly important to us that we offer a streamlined pipeline to local farming communities while providing them the opportunity to generate greater income by optimizing and increasing the supply of quality food ingredients to business and retail customers.”
In targeting families headed by working professionals, Easyshop Easycook was designed to assist working parents balance career and family responsibilities. In most families living in mega cities like Lagos, both parents typically work fulltime and fewer than 20% of these families have domestic support structures and staff.
Furthermore, Easyshop Easycook has entered into partnerships with corporate organizations to foster an inclusive workplace which places high priority on employee welfare. Through these partnerships, working parents, busy executives or even early career starters get their fresh food supplies delivered to them at their preferred location (office or home). This will further dramatically enhance staff productivity, as domestic responsibilities of the employees are handled and fulfilled by Easyshop Easycook.
Easyshop Easycook also targets businesses in the food industry that have a clear need for traceability of fresh produce, elimination of adulterated processed food, manage inventory, minimize shrinkage and to a large extent, reduce food waste across the value chain. According to a recent survey by IP Innovations, restaurant theft represents up to 10% of total food cost.
Easyshop Easycook is positioned to help here by providing standardized offerings so that business owners can adequately plan purchases and monitor revenue, and acquire unprecedented transparency in kitchen operations especially for hotels, restaurants and bars.
Easyshop Easycook partners with smallholder farmers, particularly women farmers, by working with the Lagos State Government to organize farming communities into clusters, guaranteeing production offtake, while ensuring that farmers can cultivate their entire farmland rather than just limited portions.
This will no doubt improve the standard of living across these farming communities as well as deepen economic activities within the area. Easyshop Easycook is also a beneficiary of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund’s Loan Scheme.
“We are incredibly excited to back Saudat and her team. We have been tracking her progress over the last few years and have been consistently impressed by her ability to build trust across the entire supply chain. Her understanding of the business is unrivalled (she’s been doing this for over a decade) and her unique insights into behaviors in the offline market exhibited by farmers, traders and consumers are invaluable. We believe she represents the type of elite entrepreneur we love to support,” said EchoVC’s Olaide Olusoji-Oke.
Easyshop Easycook is also leading high-impact initiatives in food safety standards. According to data from local industry experts, more than 200,000 persons die annually of food poisoning in Nigeria. These deaths were caused by foods contaminated through improper processing, preservation and service. By improving various elements of the supply chain, Easyshop Easycook is positioned to drive food safety solutions, which should also support Nigeria’s food export initiatives.
“We are thrilled by the broad impact of Easyshop Easycook on families, businesses, farmers and food safety standards across Nigeria and very pleased to welcome Saudat and the Easyshop Easycook team to the EchoVC portfolio,” said EchoVC’s Fisayo Durojaye.
With this investment, EchoVC’s Olaide Olusoji-Oke and Fisayo Durojaye will join the Company’s Board of Directors.