Releaf, which connects buyers and sellers of ag-related products and services, was selected for Y Combinator’s exclusive Summer 2017 program.
As part of the program, the company will get a $120,000 investment from one of the Valley’s most popular accelerators in exchange for a 7% stake; the funds will be used to help Releaf hit its goal of 20,000 registered businesses within a year.
Agriculture constitutes a quarter of Nigeria’s formal economic activity (and a larger share of the informal economy), but sellers have a hard time connecting to buyers.
“Most business originates through word of mouth,” limiting opportunities for other business-to-business platforms, says co-founder Ikenna Nzewi.
Releaf’s referral-based service functions like a LinkedIn or Facebook where members can tap common connections, post open bids and pitch for contracts. The portal launched last week and so far has enrolled 1,000 companies, Nzewi told ImpactAlpha.
The founders eventually want to expand to other kinds of trade across Africa.