ShEquity expands its portfolio to francophone West Africa with an investment in Céréales de Laury (CDL)

A food company, CDL focuses on transforming fonio, a former African superfood, into a range of fonio-based products.

ShEquity today announced its investment in the Beninese startup Céréales de Laury (CDL). Céréales de Laury is an agri-food start-up focused on the transformation of fonio (an ancient African super-food cereal) into a range of products that easily adapts to the culinary needs of the average African: semolina, infant flour for food. healthy and balanced for babies or even degué (popular dessert in several West African countries). These products are 100% natural, nutritious and gluten-free and have virtues that can improve the health and well-being of everyday life.

The WHO reveals that 9.6% of the Beninese population suffers from a dietary imbalance which leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and many other pathologies. In West and Central Africa, there are 15.4 million cases of acute malnutrition in children under 5 and the same problem exists in the rest of the continent. The cost of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated at US $ 19.5 million in 2017 by the United Nations and could reach US $ 60 billion in 2030. Laury’s Cereals helps resolve many of the dietary imbalances mentioned above by processing Fonio, nutritional power.

This investment adds to ShEquity’s already impressive portfolio and demonstrates its commitment to supporting women-owned and led businesses in sub-Saharan Africa. ShEquity provides strategic investments including seed capital, operational support and access to high-value networks. This allows impact investors to access a set of portfolios with reduced risk. Today, ShEquity’s portfolio includes a circular economy company that produces insect protein and organic fertilizer, Ecodudu (Kenya); a B2B data analytics and artificial intelligence platform, Superfluid Labs (Kenya and Ghana); and a solar kit distribution for off-grid and pay-as-you-go houses, WidEnergy (Zambia).

Inspired by the founder’s need to reframe her diet after witnessing her mother’s struggle with diabetes, Céréales de Laury was founded in 2018 by Laurette Mahouna and, due to its nutritional reputation, quickly established itself. as a high growth and high impact company with products available in recognized stores in Benin. The strong growth of the company has enabled it to serve more than 1,000 customers, with products available in more than 15 stores nationwide.

Céréales de Laury is currently focusing on the Beninese market, with plans to develop this activity in West Africa and internationally by 2023.

Céréales de Laury founder Laurette Mahouna said:

“At Cereales de Laury, we are happy to contribute to a vital cause which is the improvement of balance and food security with a natural product like fonio. The company is at a level where national growth and beyond the borders of Benin is essential. The partnership

with ShEquity not only brings us a clear possibility of growth as a startup but also the strengthening of our technical skills necessary for a more competitive future and in turn a positive touch on the lives of hundreds of women fonio producers with whom we collaborate. ShEquity’s investment is for us a helping hand towards the future in order to have a more significant impact both through our business and through the positive development of our community. We would like to thank all of our partners who contributed to making this partnership a reality. “

Pauline Koelbl, Founder and Managing Partner of ShEquity, said:

“We are thrilled to invest in Céréales de Laury and look forward to working with Laurette and her team to grow the business and amplify its impact. Fonio is currently relatively underdeveloped but has the potential to be marketed as a cash crop due to its high nutritional and commercial value in both national, regional and international markets. As a food-conscious African myself and a fonio fan, I am doubly excited because this investment will allow me to promote a very important product at all levels! In addition, this ancient African superfood has the potential to improve food security in Africa while preserving the environment. “

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