• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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ThriveAgric raises $56.4m in debt funding to grow farmer base, expand in Africa

ThriveAgric, Heifer partner to boost financial inclusion for 125,000 farmers

ThriveAgric, a technology-driven agricultural company, has raised $56.4 million in debt funding from local commercial banks and institutional investors to enable the company to grow its over 200,000 farmer base, and expand into new African markets, including Ghana, Zambia and Kenya.

The raise also included a co-investment grant of $1.75M from the USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment.

“The new investment takes us one step closer to fulfilling our mission of building the largest network of profitable African farmers using technology, to ensure food security. We look ahead with renewed confidence knowing that our smallholder farmers will benefit financially even more from this new investment,” Uka Eje, Chief Executive Officer, ThriveAgric, said.

Founded in 2017, ThriveAgric empowers farmers in Nigeria to sell their products to fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) and food processors, leveraging its proprietary technology to access finance as well as improve productivity and sales to promote food security.

The technology, an Agricultural Operating System (AOS), works entirely offline, dispatches USSD to farmers, and powers Android apps used by field agents to help digitally collate creditworthy farmers and gather relevant farm data.

This latest funding follows nine million U.S dollars the company raised in 2020. Over the past 12 months, ThriveAgric’s revenues have increased, with a year-on-year increase of 277 percent in farmer numbers. According to the company, the margin performance was boosted by farmers using its AOS proprietary product.

Read also: AFEX partners Niger Ministry of Agric, NSCEPA to boost Farmers productivity

The company supports Africa’s agriculture sector by assisting smallholder farmers in producing high-quality grains. Harvests, including maize, rice and soybeans, are stored in many of the company’s over 450 warehouses in Bauchi, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina states in Nigeria, before being commoditized and offered to local and global trade markets at a premium price.

“It is great to see that the market has overwhelmingly backed our farmers and they are confident in the strategic decisions we have taken. ThriveAgric has increased its footprint to 20 states in Nigeria, and we look forward to a lengthy period of growth as we continue to link African farmers to capital, data driven best practices and access to local and global markets for their commodities,” Eje said.

Smallholder farmers constitute over 80 percent of the Nigerian agriculture industry. Access to finance, advisory, and markets are significant barriers. Nearly 72 percent live below the poverty line on less than $1.90 a day. Farmers assisted by ThriveAgric can charge premium rates for their commodities, allowing them to increase their incomes up to 25 percent.

“ThriveAgric’s fundraising objectives are geared towards growth through vertical and horizontal integration. One of our goals is to be able to widen access to markets for our smallholder farmers, help to lift them out of poverty, and ultimately promote food security. We do this by enabling them to take their produce to local and international markets,” Ayo Arikawe, ThriveAgric Co-founder and CTO, said.