GHANA – Farmerline, a Ghanaian agritech company focused on providing smallholder farmers with quality inputs and market access, has announced the second close of its Pre-Series A investment raising an additional US$1.5 million from Dutch social impact investor Oikocredit.
The investment is part of a total funding round worth US$14.4 million raised by the company from investors including FMO, ARAF, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank and Greater Impact Foundation.
It follows its recently closed Pre-Series A equity investment of US$6.4 million and US$6.5 million debt, aimed to strengthen its supply chain for agribusinesses; reduce the cost of farming; and increase yield for farmers on the continent through the deployment of AI technology and local infrastructure.
The funding also comes at a time when Farmerline, which has operations across Ghana, is setting up shop in Ivory Coast as it continues its expansion across West Africa.
Founded in 2013, Farmerline’s marketplace combines digital tools, logistics, field agents, farm resources and agribusiness partnerships to support African farmers with access to high-quality fertilizer and seeds; free education on climate-smart farming practices; and connections to international markets.
The partner retailers use the startup’s Mergdata, a proprietary AI technology platform for supply chain intelligence, to digitize the farmers they serve, and to generate the data required to predict the demand of farm supplies and prevent stock-outs.
It also uses that data to determine the amount of business expansion credit to give to agro-dealers.
”With the support of Oikocredit alongside our first-round funders, our distribution, logistics and financing services will continue not only in Ghana but also in Ivory Coast where we’ve recently begun the process of expanding our team.
“We remain committed to standing by farmers and agribusinesses across Africa during this crucial time, ” said Alloysius Attah, Co-founder and CEO, Farmerline.
As fertiliser prices more than quadruple and the conflict in Ukraine compounds global food security challenges, this investment is crucial.
The latest US$1.5 million equity investment in Farmerline Group reinforces this commitment and brings the total raised by Farmerline to $14.4 million.
Mila Georgieva, Equity Officer, Oikocredit said, ”The harmful impact of rocketing fertiliser costs on smallholder farmers in Africa is clear. With our investment in Farmerline, we are supporting those most affected by the price volatility.”
The startup targets to reach 300,000 farmers in 2022, a nearly 400% increase in growth compared to last year, when it doubled its direct-reach to 79,000 farmers, up from 36,000 in 2020 and 8,000 in 2019.
It claims that it has so far financed around US$18 million worth of inputs and crops through franchise shop alliances with agribusinesses and input dealers.
To attain its target, Farmerline recently launched ‘Support a Farmer initiative’ – a public crowdfunding campaign to raise US$100,000 with the aim of providing 250,000 bags of discounted fertiliser to 25,000 farmers across Ghana.