KENYA – Kenyan agri-tech startup Apollo Agriculture has raised US$6 million in Series A funding round led by Anthemis Exponential Ventures, with participation from Leaps by Bayer, Flourish Ventures, Sage Hill Capital, To Ventures Food, Accion Venture Lab and Newid Capital, among others.

The funding will enable the commercial farming platform to scale up its partnership with more farmers, expanding its product offerings and growing its team especially during the current COVID-19 epidemic where health risks, supply chain disruptions and reduced mobility threaten food security for millions globally.

“We are incredibly excited to bring together a world-class group of investors, with expertise across financial services and agriculture, to help power Apollo’s growth in the coming years,” said Eli Pollak, Apollo’s chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder.

“Our digital model has enabled us to continue partnering with farmers to produce more food, despite the unprecedented disruptions of COVID-19,” he added.

Founded in 2016, Apollo Agriculture uses machine learning and automated operations technology to offer product suit for farmers including financing, data analysis for higher crop yields, optimised advice and options to purchase key inputs, equipment and insurance.

The startup has engineered its own app, platform and outreach program serving 40 000 farmers since inception and partnering with close to 25,000 farmers in 2020.

Vica Manos, partner at Anthemis, said the Apollo Agriculture team was solving a massive gap in the agricultural space by helping small-scale farmers turn their daily labour into profitable businesses.

“We are very excited to back the Apollo team on their journey to change the lives of millions of farmers that have been overlooked by traditional financial services companies, by providing them with the right instruments, from optimized financing and farming tools to valuable farming advice. In light of the global pandemic, their mission is more urgent than ever,” he said.

The startup has previously received US$1.6-million in funding through three other investments.