Ghanaian agtech Farmerline raises $1.5M from Dutch investor Oikocredit • TechCrunch

Ghanaian agtech Farmerline has secured $1.5 million fairness funding from Dutch influence investor Oikocredit in its second shut of the pre-Collection A spherical. The brand new funding brings the total amount raised in the round to $14.4 million, together with $6.4 debt funding.

The funding comes at a time when Farmerline, which has operations throughout Ghana, is establishing store in Ivory Coast because it continues its growth throughout West Africa.

Based in 2013 by Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu Addai, Farmerline works by agro-dealers, who’re normally the primary level of data for farmers, in guaranteeing entry to high-quality provides, together with fertilizer and seeds.

The companion retailers use the startup’s Mergdata, a proprietary AI expertise platform for provide chain intelligence, to digitize the farmers they serve, and to generate the info required to foretell the demand of farm provides and stop stock-outs. It additionally makes use of that knowledge to find out the quantity of enterprise growth credit score to present to agro-dealers.

“With the help of Oikocredit alongside our first-round funders, our distribution, logistics and financing companies will proceed not solely in Ghana but in addition in Ivory Coast the place we’ve not too long ago begun the method of increasing our staff,” stated Attah in a press release.

In a previous interview, Attah advised TechCrunch that Farmerline is increasing its bodily infrastructure like warehouses and distribution networks to make it a market that enables the quicker motion of provides to and from rural areas. The logistics community additionally helps farmers to shortly entry markets for higher incomes and to cut back post-harvest losses and waste.

Farmerline stated it’s planning on strengthening its provide chain for agribusinesses to cut back the price of farming and improve yield for farmers on the continent by the deployment of AI expertise and native infrastructure.

“As fertiliser costs greater than quadruple and the battle in Ukraine compounds world meals safety challenges, this funding is essential,” it stated.

Farmerline claimed to have thus far financed round $18 million value of inputs and crops by franchise store alliances with agribusinesses and enter sellers.

The startup targets to succeed in 300,000 farmers in 2022, a virtually 400% improve in development in comparison with final yr, when it doubled its direct-reach to 79,000 farmers, up from 36,000 in 2020 and eight,000 in 2019.

Oikocredit’s fairness officer, Mila Georgieva, stated, “The dangerous influence of rocketing fertiliser prices on smallholder farmers in Africa is evident. With our funding in Farmerline, we’re supporting these most affected by the worth volatility. Our investments within the agriculture sector are on the core of Oikocredit’s work as a social influence investor, and we’ve got already recognized synergies with different portfolio firms. We’re thrilled to help Farmerline Group and smallholder communities throughout Ghana and Ivory Coast.”

Farmerline’s different fairness traders embody Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF), FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial growth financial institution and Higher Influence Basis.

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