Ikota, a few kilometers into the rather posh Lekki district on the city’s island, is one location for watching an increasing buzz in the restaurant industry in Lagos.
The neighborhood, which was formerly dominated by the Nigerian fast food business Mega Chicken, is now receiving well-known restaurants like Domino’s and The Place, and the quickly-rising Blackbell is soon to complete construction. The largest network of movie theaters in Nigeria, FilmHouse, is establishing itself in the same 100-yard area.
Brands in these restaurant clusters seek to capitalize on the heavy foot and vehicle traffic and lay a claim to the $12 billion that Nigerians spend on eating out each year, or 5 trillion naira. According to statistics from the agency for 2019, the majority of Nigerians’ household budget is spent on eating out.
However, in addition to serving food, restaurants have an issue with inventory and procurement management. Filling that need is proving to be a lucrative business opportunity in and of itself. To address these issues, Vendease was founded in 2020 and has since received funding from two of Africa’s largest tech investors, TLcom Capital and Partech Partners.
Vendease raised $3.2 million in venture capital after being accepted into the winter cohort of Y Combinator’s accelerator program last year in order to adapt their product to the market. Along the way, there has been a slight shift in emphasis from connecting producers with restaurants to being a bulk buyer from farmers and a direct supplier to restaurants.
The grounds for interest in Vendease, according to Andreata Muforo, partner at TLcom Capital, a pan-African venture capital firm that was one of Andela’s early investors, were “affordability, convenience, and reliability.” General partner of Partech Cyril Collon claims that the company has “great potential for expansion in Nigeria and beyond.”
According to a release, both companies sponsored a $20 million stock round in Vendease. It was possible to raise an additional $10 million on the local financial market. The firm, which operates in eight cities around Ghana and Nigeria, claims that in the past year, its revenues have increased five times.