Model & Strategy

The Problem
In Eastern Africa, 97% of fish landing sites — where fish is taken post-harvest — lack connection to proper storage, handling, or cold-chain logistics. This results in an average post-harvest loss of 25% for small-scale fishermen and fish farms. The capital to invest in this infrastructure and pay for the energy to utilize it is prohibitive since these rural fisherfolk lack access to the central energy grid and urban markets. Consequently, they cannot rely on predictable future cash flows. Additionally, the typical fish value chain is highly fragmented and filled with middlemen. The direct result is high levels of spoilage post-collection, unreliable supply for retailers, and poor price transparency for fish farmers.

As a consequence of workforce migration due to climate change and a deteriorating wild fish population, fisherfolk are trapped in a high-waste, low-margin, and unsustainable livelihood. Fisherfolk are beginning to transition from wild fishing to fish farms (aquaculture), but they still need better access to cold-chain logistics to transport fish as quickly as possible and with minimum spoilage.

The Solution
Keep IT Cool connects smallholder fisherfolk directly to retail markets, cutting out a complicated chain of middlemen. They provide decentralized, solar-powered cold storage boxes on both ends of the supply chain (fish landing sites and retail locations), as well as refrigerated transportation trucks to move products end-to-end. Additionally, Keep IT Cool brings significant value to the marketplace through their online platform called Markiti. The platform allows retailers to order fish and other protein deliveries. This stream of data provides predictable demand for fisherfolk, which normalizes cash flow while providing a reliable supply for retailers.

The value of matching supply to demand in this market is enormous, and the predictability of matching supply to demand is only possible because KIC consolidated the once-fragmented supply chain. Keep IT Cool’s model improves the livelihoods of smallholder fisherfolk by streamlining the supply chain and providing price and inventory transparency.

At a Glance
Founded: 2019
Food & Agriculture
Location of work: International, Africa
Keep IT Cool
Kenya, Africa
Deliver while still fresh.
Meet Francis Nderitu and Abigail Gachigi

Before founding Keep IT Cool, Francis worked with Finnish cold storage and logistics company Vakava Technologies to expand their operations to Africa. Born and raised in rural Kenya, he has first-hand experience of the limitations of the infrastructure value chain.

Abigail, COO, has a strong operations and distribution background. She previously worked for an FMCG company in Western Kenya distributing Coca-Cola products and helped grow Keep IT Cool throughout COVID-19.


Keep IT Cool has stabilized and increased incomes by an average of 15%.

Keep IT Cool has service agreements with 900 retailers, providing reliable, safe, fresh fish and chicken.

Keep IT Cool cuts carbon emissions by 51% (69 tCO2e) by reducing food waste, deploying solar-powered coolers, and using hybrid trucks to improve logistics for the fishery value chain.