ThriveAgric Raises $56.4M in Debt Funding for Pan-African Expansion
ThriveAgric, a fast-growing technology-driven agriculture company, raised $56.4 million in debt financing from local commercial banks and institutional investors.
The increase also included a $1.75 million co-investment grant from West Africa Trade & Investment, funded by USAID. The new investment will allow the company to grow its base of more than 200,000 farmers and expand into new African markets, including Ghana, Zambia and Kenya.
Founded in 2017 (and fully operational since 2018), ThriveAgric enables Nigerian farmers to sell their produce to FMCGs and food processors, leveraging its proprietary technology to access finance and improve productivity and sales to promote safety eating.
The technology, a Farm Operating System (AOS), works entirely offline, sends USSD to farmers and powers Android apps used by field agents to help digitally round up creditworthy farmers and collect relevant farm data. .
This latest funding follows the company’s $9 million raised in 2020. Over the past 12 months, ThriveAgric’s revenue has grown fivefold, with a 277% year-over-year increase in the number of farmers. The strong margin performance was driven by farmers using the company’s proprietary AOS product.
The company supports Africa’s agricultural sector by helping smallholder farmers produce high-quality grain. Crops, including maize, rice and soybeans, are stored in many of the company’s more than 450 warehouses in Bauchi, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina states in Nigeria, before being unmarked and offered to local and global commercial markets at a premium price.
Commenting on the impact the funds will have, Uka Eje, the Managing Director, said: “The new investment brings us one step closer to fulfilling our mission to build the largest network of profitable African farmers using technology to achieve food security. We look to the future with renewed confidence, knowing that our smallholder farmers will benefit even more financially from this new investment. Despite a volatile environment over the past few years, caused by the global pandemic, ThriveAgric has witnessed temporary disruptions to payments from our retail lenders. However, we were able to overcome these challenges within a year and maintain the profitability of the business. Our strong financial performance underscores investor confidence in ThriveAgric.
“It is great to see that the market has overwhelmingly supported our farmers and that they have confidence in the strategic decisions we have made. ThriveAgric has expanded its footprint to 20 states in Nigeria, and we look forward to a long period of growth as we continue to connect African farmers to capital, data-driven best practices, and access to local and global markets. for their products.
Smallholder farmers make up over 80% of Nigeria’s agricultural industry. Access to finance, advice and markets are significant barriers. Nearly 72% live below the poverty line on less than $1.90 a day. ThriveAgric-assisted farmers can charge premium rates for their produce, increasing their income by up to 25%.
At the height of the global pandemic, business and supply disruptions prevented ThriveAgric from meeting its obligations to its subscribers, leading to the rapid appointment of key personnel including Olurotimi Arigbede, Chief Financial Officer and Michael Kadiri, responsible for risk management and compliance. As part of the strengthened management structure, the company settled all outstanding disputes with subscribers.
ThriveAgric co-founder and CTO Ayo Arikawe said, “ThriveAgric’s fundraising goals are geared towards growth through vertical and horizontal integration. One of our goals is to be able to expand market access for our smallholder farmers, help lift them out of poverty and ultimately promote food security. We do this by allowing them to get their products to local and international markets. We are delighted and delighted to receive the support of such high caliber investors. Their financial support is an essential step in realizing ThriveAgric’s vision of building an Africa that feeds itself and the world.