ThriveAgric, Nigeria’s technology-driven agricultural company that empowers farmers and leverages its technology to access finance, and improve productivity and sales to promote food security, has announced that it has raised $56,4 million in debt from institutional investors to grow its farmer base and their outputs. This is so that the farmers can be able to service local and international markets.
Founded in 2017 (and fully operational since 2018), ThriveAgric seeks to ensure global food security, by enabling Afrika’s agriculture sector; particularly its smallholder farmers to profitably and sustainably produce high-quality grains.
“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 were able to overcome those challenges within a year and maintained company profitability. Our solid financial performance underscores investors' faith in ThriveAgric. It is great to see that the market has overwhelmingly backed our farmers and they are confident in the strategic decisions we have taken. ThriveAgric has increased its footprint to 20 states in Nigeria, and we look forward to a lengthy period of growth as we continue to link African farmers to capital, data driven best practices, and access to local and global markets for their commodities," said Uka Eje, Chief Executive Officer at ThriveAgric.
Nigeria's agriculture industry
Smallholder farmers make up over 80% of Nigeria's agriculture industry. Some of the stated issues that Nigerian farmers experience include the lack of access to finance, advisory, and markets. Nearly 72% live below the poverty line on less than $1,90 a day.
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.
ThriveAgric says it supports Afrika’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.
Pan-Afrika expansion plans
This latest funding follows $9 million that the agritech startup 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 was boosted by farmers using the company’s AOS proprietary product.
"ThriveAgric’s fundraising objectives are geared towards growth through vertical and horizontal integration. One of our goals is to be able to widen access to markets for our smallholder farmers, help to lift them out of poverty, and ultimately promote food security. We do this by enabling them to take their produce to local and international markets. We’re thrilled and excited to receive support from such high calibre investors. Their financial backing is an essential step in fulfilling ThriveAgric's vision to build an Africa that feeds herself and the world," said Ayo Arikawe, ThriveAgric Co-founder and CTO.
— By Tefo Mohapi