Janngo Capital and FMO co-invest Moroccan agritech startup

YoLa Fresh, a Moroccan agritech startup building a transparent and sustainable fresh food supply network, today announced it has secured a $7 million pre-Series A funding round. The round was led by Al Mada Ventures with participation from Algebra Ventures, E3 Capital, Janngo Capital, and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development Bank. 

YoLa Fresh’s innovative platform connects farmers directly with retailers and food service companies. Utilizing cutting-edge technology, the company tracks produce from farm to retail, ensuring transparency and minimizing waste. This innovative process translates into higher farmer and retailer incomes, reduced food spoilage, and fresher, more affordable options for consumers.

“We have achieved remarkable traction and demonstrated product-market fit in less than 1 year, reinforcing the effectiveness of our innovative business model, which this funding round recognizes and supports.” said Youssef Mamou, co-CEO of YoLa Fresh. “With this funding, we’ll expand our logistics network, bolster our technology, and empower more farmers to deliver high-quality produce directly to consumers,” said Larbi Alaoui Belrhiti, co-CEO of YoLa Fresh.

“As the agricultural sector continues its transition to digital supply chain technologies, we believe that Yola Fresh is well placed to  offer real added value to its customers, while having a positive impact on the entire  ecosystem. We are delighted to support the company’s commercialization strategy  and expansion”, added Omar Laalej, Managing Director at Al Mada Ventures.

YoLa Fresh is led by seasoned entrepreneurs Larbi Alaoui Belrhiti and Youssef Mamou, who possess deep experience operating at scale in the region. Youssef brings invaluable experience from his leadership roles at Careem, the leading ride-hailing platform in North Africa, and as head of 212Founders, a prominent Moroccan venture capital investor. Larbi’s extensive leadership experience at Jumia, a top African e-commerce player, gives YoLa Fresh an unparalleled edge in navigating Africa’s unique market dynamics.

YoLa Fresh draws inspiration from successful fresh produce marketplace models around the globe. Companies like Meicai in China, Frubana in Latin America, and Waycool in India have demonstrated the potential of this model, attracting significant investment from top-tier VCs. 

YoLa Fresh’s vision extends beyond Morocco. They aim to become a leading player in Africa’s agritech revolution, tackling food security challenges and fostering economic growth across the continent. This $7 million funding marks a significant milestone on their journey to becoming an African unicorn.

Quotes from Investors :

Tarek Assaad, Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures said: “We are excited to back Youssef and Larbi, both world-class entrepreneurs who have the skill and passion needed to tackle this large and untapped market opportunity in Morocco. YoLa’s combination of technology  and operational capabilities will enable it to create  significant efficiencies across the entire farm to retail supply chain. The agri sector is a major contributor to economic growth and employment in our region and stands to gain significantly from tech solutions. YoLa Fresh is uniquely positioned to become a leader in that transformation in Morocco and beyond. As a relative newcomer to the Moroccan VC space, we are excited about the upside potential of the market and look forward to continuing to support Moroccan tech startups.” 

Vladimir Dugin, Senior Partner at E3 Capital said: “We are proud to announce our first North African investment in Morocco through the E3 Low Carbon Economy Fund I. Inefficient supply chains and food loss in agriculture remain two of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in Africa. YoLa Fresh, through its innovative, data-driven approach, addresses these challenges head-on, driving optimisation and reducing waste across the value chain. We are excited to back such a strong team and support their expansion into sub-Saharan Africa.”

Fatoumata Bâ, Founder and Executive Chair of Janngo Capital, said: “We are proud to support YoLa Fresh because its founders are transforming the agriculture, food, and retail supply chains in Morocco. More crucially, they are unlocking the growth potential of producers and suppliers on a grand scale through cutting-edge technological solutions. Agriculture accounts for 38% of Morocco’s total employment, this is why our investment underscores our commitment to enhancing job opportunities, particularly in the nation’s most underserved regions.”

Marieke Roestenberg, VC Manager at FMO said, “We are excited to support YoLa Fresh’s expansion across Morocco and beyond. The company’s focus on reducing food waste and improving the circumstances for both smallholders and retailers, is our main driver for investing in its pre-Series A funding.”