ThriveAgric, an agriculture investment platform, has announced a $56.4M debt financing from local commercial banks and institutional investors to accelerate its pan-African expansion plans.
The company said the raise includes a co-investment grant of $1.75M from the USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment. The new investment will enable the company to grow its 200,000+ farmer base and expand into new African markets, including Ghana, Zambia, and Kenya.
Founded in 2017 (and fully operational since 2018), ThriveAgric empowers farmers in Nigeria to sell their products to FMCGs and food processors, leveraging its proprietary technology to access finance and improve productivity and sales to promote food security.
Smallholder farmers constitute over 80% of the Nigerian agriculture industry, but access to finance, advisory, and markets are significant barriers. Nearly 72% live below the poverty line on less than $1.90 a day.
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 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.
This latest funding follows the $9million the company raised in 2020. Over the past 12 months, ThriveAgric’s revenues have increased five-fold, with a year-on-year increase of 277% in farmer numbers. The strong margin performance is credited to farmers using the company’s Agricultural Operating System (AOS) proprietary product.
The AOS technology 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.
Commenting on the impact the funds will have, Chief Executive Officer Uka Eje said,
“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. Despite a volatile backdrop over the past few years, brought about by the global pandemic, ThriveAgric witnessed temporary payment disruptions to our retail crowdfunders. However, we overcame those challenges within a year and maintained company profitability. Our solid financial performance underscores investors’ faith in ThriveAgric.”
Farmers assisted by ThriveAgric can charge premium rates for their commodities, allowing them to increase their incomes up to 25 percent. At the height of the global pandemic, business and supply disruptions prevented ThriveAgric from fulfilling obligations to its subscribers, leading to swift appointments of key personnel, including Olurotimi Arigbede, Chief Financial Officer, and Michael Kadiri, Head of Risk Management and Compliance. Under the strengthened management structure, the company settled all outstanding disputes with subscribers.