From working for Nike under Girl Hub, identifying a need, creating a booming business and acquiring funding from investors; BiD Network had an interview with Lauren Nkuranga Founder of GET IT Rwanda who are benefactors.
Fruit, veg and back car offices – Rwandese Silicon Valley style
In 2012 I came to Rwanda working with Girl Hub under the Nike Foundation. My assignment here lasted for two years and I was supposed to relocate back to the USA. This didn’t settle well with me as I had seen so much opportunity for business in Rwanda. l decided to not go home but to stay and contribute to the growth of the country. That is how GET IT was started.
GET IT was started originally in the back of my car with $5000 as I used to deliver household items to different people in the city who could have failed to find what they were looking for in the stores. When we introduced Food and Vegetables in to the portfolio, a couple of months into the business we started getting retail orders from hotels and restaurants. When we inquired we found out that there were no companies that deliver to restaurants and hotels.
So, for the next two years we pivoted to be the food service distribution company. Which means we supply hotels, restaurants and anyone out there who wanted to eat outside from their favorite canteen. Catering industrial canteen companies, which we supply their full stock of regular products they need in their commercial kitchens, but specifically fruits and vegetables.
We have 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables that we source from 30 farms and have received an ISO certificate. We are the largest food distributors in Rwanda at the moment. Pretty much if you came to Rwanda you would be eating our Food.
What are the main investment needs in your company?
We could generally say that we have used our investment in hiring staff and buying equipment as our business is labor and equipment intensive. Alongside having a lot of working capital constraints, as I have to pay my farmers right away after they have delivered and yet my customers won’t pay me after 45 days after delivering to them.
Were you failing to raise the necessary funds for these needs?
Starting the company with $5000 of my own money has got as far as it could and now as we grow, we need retraction and money to scale. The money needed now is to help us accelerate growth of the company not with in just Rwanda but as far as Kenya and Uganda.
Who were your main investors?
BiD Network raised for us $100,000 and we raised $1.5million from several angel investors and we are going to engage in the Investor Trip they will be organizing starting next year.
How was the process of attracting investment?
BiD Network connected us to relevant investors, who we were able to work with towards securing an investment. Through BiD Network, we have so far got one investor who has invested $100,000 in our company. We have received most of our money through angel investors but are working with BiD to find us more investors.
Tell me about BiD Network and it work in relation to your investment needs.
BiD Network bridged the gap, connected and provided access for us to relevant investors in our business field, that we would have never got.
After receiving the investment, how have the needs improved and their impact on your company?
Now we have a great ability to scale and hire better and quality people. Also, have a greater chance to take advantage of growth opportunities that we were never able to.