GAZELLE FUND LP Invests In Fruit Logistics A 100% Women-Owned Cold Storage Company
Gazelle Finance invested $500,000 in Fruit Logistics, which is 100% owned by Nino Kapanadze. The use of proceeds was used to build out new cold storage and warehouse facilities and to provide working capital financing to enable the company to handle over 100,000 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables per year. In addition, with the support of USAID Georgia, Gazelle Finance will provide technical assistance to support the company’s transition to near 100% on-grid generated renewable energy with the installation of 130.9 KW of roof installed solar panels, which will generate $30,000-40,000 in energy savings per year.
In addition to this investment and renewable energy project, Gazelle Finance through USAID Business Development Services Program is currently implementing an ISO 22000:2018 food safety and handling certification. ISO 22000:2018 Certification is crucial for the growth and expansion of the company to meet European Union standards, for both conventional and organic produce, which are required by some retailers in Georgia, and will better position the company for export within the region and to the European Union.
“Gazelle Finance’s capital not only helped us to rapidly scale our business, but it is combined with value-add services such as ISO certification, which improves our topline, and on-grid solar energy, which reduces our operating expense”, said Nino Kapanadze, CEO of Fruit Logistics. “Investing in solar energy equipment makes us more cost competitive in the market, but the upfront costs are quite expensive for a small company like ours, so Gazelle Finance’s support was critical for us to make the switch.”
The company buys fresh produce from over 1,000 farmers and suppliers in Georgia, most of them small family-owned farms, and sells them to large supermarket chains. With the expansion of the warehouse and cold storage facilities, and the working capital financing, the company is in a much stronger position to influence quality standards during the procurement phase and can store the products for extended periods to maximize value during the shoulder and winter seasons when there is a complete absence of local production and full reliance on imports.
“We are so impressed by Nino’s vision to make the company sustainable and her ability to work with small farmers across Georgia”, said CEO of Gazelle Finance, Jeffrey Liebert. “With inflationary pressures pushing up food prices, Gazelle Finance is focused on investing in companies like Fruit Logistics that can accelerate import substitution through improved local distribution and logistics infrastructure.”
Gazelle Finance is a financing company, that invests in high-growth, small and medium-sized enterprising in the Eurasia Region, with current focus on Georgia and Armenia. Its mission is to create a better financial future for capable entrepreneurs and the communities they serve. The company seeks to identify gaps and barriers in the capital market and provide a financing solution to responsible entrepreneurs, who are carefully selected. By focusing on growing their businesses, Gazelle Finance helps local markets and economies to expand.
Fruit Logistics LLC
LLC “Fruit Logistics” is one of the biggest fruit and vegetable distribution company in Georgia. It has been operating on the market since 2019 and currently serves almost all major network markets throughout Georgia such as Nikora, Carrefour, Ori Nabiji, Agrohub, Spar, Fresco, etc. Fruit logistics provides transportation, sorting and distribution of fruits and vegetables. As of today, the company has 60 employees, 14 trucks and works with over 1,000 local farmers. Fruit Logistics is planning on expanding in the regions by opening two new branches (Lagodekhi and Kareli) where local farmers will be able to deliver their crop on the spot, without transportation.