Tanzanian start-up, BioBuu, has raised $20 ,000 in seed funding from the GIIG Africa Fund to hire additional talent, expand its product range and increase production and export capabilities in Tanzania and Kenya.
BioBuu is a social enterprise that focuses on reducing food waste in Africa by using black soldier flies to process and recycle organic waste from restaurants and households into high protein chicken and fish feed, as well as organic compost.
These products are then sold on to farmers, who can use it to improve crop yields and replace more expensive animal feeds. BioBuu actively reduces the amount of food waste that ends up in landfill and helps to improve the quality of agriculture in Africa.
This latest raise brings BioBuu’s total valuation to $5 million, following an additional investment of $700 000 from impact investors, $500 000 in sweat equity, and $1.2 million in grant funding during the company’s research and development phase between 2015 and 2018.
BioBuu was named the African winner of the agritech category at last year’s Global Startup Awards in Cape Town, South Africa, the largest independent start-up ecosystem competition on the continent and exclusive vehicle for the GIIG Africa Fund to find, fund and scale Africa’s most innovative start-ups with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)-aligned solutions.
Kigen Compton, founder and CEO of BioBuu, said, “We are also excited to share that BioBuu has recently won a grant for €100 000 from Develop PPP Ventures – a funding programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Together with investment we have received from GIIG Africa, we will use these funds to further develop byproducts of our insect protein facility.”
Compton added, “We aim to expand our floating fish pellet production capabilities in Tanzania as well as begin to export insect protein out of our facility in Kenya. Part of this funding will also be used to further commercialise both the insect oil pressed from the protein as well as the carbon credits offset by reducing waste to landfill. In-line with our labor-intensive nature, we will be hiring more staff, to be able to take in more waste and scale up across our two factories.”
BioBuu’s model helps reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfill and helps improve the quality of agriculture in Africa. The need for innovative solutions to modernize waste management and sustainably drive agriculture comes as the global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), sustaining such a population will require a 70% increase in world food production, with the World Bank estimating that global waste will amount to 3.4 billion tonnes each year by 2050. These developments threaten to accelerate deforestation, put severe strain on fresh water reserves, and lead to poor health and wellbeing for people living in densely populated urban areas where waste production is highest.
Mahyar Makhzani, co-founder of GIIG Africa, said, “Population growth and growing demand for food and waste management are arguably more poignant in Africa, which is set to become the largest continent globally by way of population size in 2050. It is therefore imperative that we drive more investment into innovation in these spaces, to ensure the continent is ready to meet these challenges head-on.
“To that end, we’re thrilled to have Kigen and the BioBuu team join our investor portfolio – not only have they developed a unique and highly relevant business to the African market, but they have successfully merged and found a commercially viable way of addressing two important issues in Africa’s growth trajectory. We look forward to working with them, to help scale their solutions to Africa and the world.”
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