Baridi: 2023 Start Up Project of the Year

Testing the viability of different business models for cooling solutions in the livestock value chain


An international jury, consisting of Ada Marmion from AECF, Daphne Pit from GET.Invest, Jacob Lorentzen from NDF, and Nyamolo Abagi from CLASP, selected Baridi as the winner of 2023 Project of the Year in the Start Up category.

Baridi is a local, women-owned and youth-led start-up that offers solar-powered cold storage solutions within the livestock value chains in East-Africa. The company provides affordable, solar-powered cooling solutions for urban meat markets to increase food security, save energy and reduce carbon emissions. The cooling solution links the local meat vendors with the meat markets and agribusiness players.

In 2020, Baridi received EEP Africa funding to test the viability of a pay-as-you-store business model that offers cooling services at the Burma Market in Nairobi. This cold storage solution uses sub-zero technology to preserve the meat for a daily tariff of 5 KES. The service is directed to the B2C market in the meat value chain where pastoralist communities cannot afford their own refrigerators.

During this pilot, the company realised that the cooling-as-a-service business model is not profitable as a primary revenue generator and began pivoting their business model for the B2B market. This is a direct sale model where Baridi sells the assets to foundations, universities and agribusiness players who want to test circular and research elements within the cold chain ecosystem in East Africa.

Additionally, Baridi is actively cultivating partnerships to distribute fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), particularly agricultural products, through its ReSale business model. This initiative capitalises on its advantageous asset placement in urban centres that boast significant consumer demand and proximity. As a local player, Baridi has the experience to develop business models around cold rooms, and to identify the right community, the right market, the most viable area and the right technology for the assets.

Since its establishment in 2021, Baridi has been able to preserve 500,000 kg of meat, fulfill 8,700 CaaS orders, avoid 6.3 tonnes C02eq of emissions, and generated 10.9 MWh Solar PV energy. The next steps for Baridi are to find ways to scaling up. They see themselves exploring the B2B market further, while though maintaining their roots in the B2C market.

“Baridi demonstrated how the two different business models could work in the cold chain value chains in Kenya. By really testing the price, the viability, the access to customers and how these factors impact the company’s financial structure has contributed to the de-risking of the business models. The jury found this the most powerful innovation,” said jury member Ada Marmion when announcing the winner during EEP Africa’s Knowledge Week.

Every year, EEP Africa recognises a company that has demonstrated significant and verifiable achievements during the past year in terms of innovation, delivery, and impact and/or fundraising. Project of the Year Start Up seeks to recognize a company that is still at an early stage but succeeding in innovation or opening the market.

EEP Africa thanks all the 2023 Project of the Year nominees, finalists, and jury members. Watch the recording of the award announcement.