Kenyan agtech, Twiga Foods, is facing a looming threat of liquidation due to an outstanding debt totaling Sh39 million, equivalent to $263,691, new reports indicate.
Incentro Africa, a Kenyan Google Premier partner that provided Google Cloud Services and Partner Service Funds to Twiga Foods, contests this debt.
The reports further state that Incentro Africa initiated legal proceedings by filing for insolvency against Twiga Foods.
“The firm issued an insolvency notice with a deadline of Monday, September 25, warning that failure to settle the mentioned debt would compel Incentro Africa Limited to seek a liquidation order against Twiga Foods. In response, Twiga Foods strongly disputed these demands, characterizing them as “premature” and alleging they are made in “bad faith and with ulterior motives,” Daily Nation noted.
The resolution of this contentious matter now rests with the court, which is expected to render a ruling soon, determining whether Incentro Africa can proceed with the liquidation process.
The reports further suggest that Twiga Foods, to halt any liquidation proceedings, has submitted an urgent certificate to the court.
Twiga’s relationship with Incentro began in 2021 during its initial startup phase. As the Kenyan agtech startup expanded, it became clear that streamlining maintenance and management tasks was vital, allowing their relatively small team of engineers to focus on developing and improving their platform.
By implementing Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and partnering with Incentro as a trusted collaborator, Twiga Foods has established a smooth and efficient support system for its business growth. Relying on Incentro’s certified expertise in Google Cloud, Twiga Foods now seeks its partner’s guidance for critical decisions related to provisioning and deployment.
Like many other startups, Twiga Foods has encountered significant challenges amid economic uncertainty. Just last month, the company was forced to reduce its workforce, leading to the layoffs of approximately 283 employees.
Despite rumours suggesting the potential closure of its operations in Uganda, Peter Njonjo, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder of Twiga Foods, vehemently denies any such intentions, stating, “There is no closure of operations. We continue to operate in Uganda, and our farm is operational.”
The startup further elaborated on its strategic adaptations in response to the prevailing business environment, characterized by declining consumer purchasing power.
To adapt, Twiga Foods altered its sales model, including the complete elimination of its sales team last year.
Mr Njonjo stated in June that the company secured a total of Sh23.2 billion in investor funding between 2017 and 2021. He explained, “During that period, we managed to secure a significant portion of our financing, but subsequently, funding opportunities dwindled. In total, we raised Sh 23.2 billion.”