Senegalese FMCG intelligence startup Lengo AI has raised a seven-figure pre-seed round of funding to help it develop its product and team, and expand into new African markets.
Founded in 2022 by Max Smith, Roger Xavier Macia and Ismaila Seck, Lengo AI is the first data-driven operating system for informal retail in Africa. It aims to provide intelligence and highly actionable insights to FMCG brands coming from the thousands of corner shops, with its software-as-a-service platform using a hybrid approach of field agents and AI to connect retailers and FMCG companies with real-time performance data on the sales of products.
The startup’s seven-figure pre-seed round was co-led by early-stage venture capital firm Acasia Ventures and Ventures Platform, and joined by P1 Ventures, Launch Africa, Voltron Capital and a number of other VCs and angel investors. The investment will be used to expand Lengo AI’s tech and sales teams, further develop the AI-portion of the product, and enter new African markets.
“Lengo AI’s platform already provides near real-time market monitoring from a ground-level perspective for over 2,000 products. Now we are working on leveraging AI to connect at scale with the last node of the retail network: the corner shops,” Smith said. “We’re building a very low friction technology with retailers and actively recruiting for the best AI and software engineers. Thanks to the support from Acasia Ventures, we hope to gain expertise in Nigeria and Egypt, and accordingly, make the right connections in both countries to expand our product for shopkeepers and work with brands to stop guessing Africa.”
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