Banks, Investors Give ThriveAgric $56.4m
By Adedapo Adesanya
Efforts by fast-growing technology-driven agricultural company, ThriveAgric, to grow its over 200,000 farmer base and expand into new African markets, including Ghana, Zambia and Kenya, are already yielding results.
This is because the organisation has raised $56.4 million in debt funding from local commercial banks and institutional investors, with a co-investment grant of $1.75 million received from the USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment.
With the funds in its coffers, the company will be able to continue supporting Africa’s agriculture sector by assisting smallholder farmers in producing high-quality grains.
It will also improve the storage of harvested maize, rice, and soybeans in its over 450 warehouses in Bauchi, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, and Katsina states in Nigeria, before being commoditised and offered to local and global trade markets at a premium price.
Speaking on the new funds, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr 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.”
“In the last year, ThriveAgric’s revenues have increased five-fold, with a year-on-year increase of 277 per cent in farmer numbers, to which the CEO expressed optimism.
“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,” he added.
The new round follows the $9 million the company raised in 2020 but the pandemic prevented the company from fulfilling obligations to its subscribers, leading to swift appointments of key personnel, including Mr Olurotimi Arigbede, Chief Financial Officer and Mr Michael Kadiri, Head of Risk Management and Compliance, under which the company settled all outstanding disputes with subscribers.
Farmers assisted by ThriveAgric can charge premium rates for their commodities, allowing them to increase their incomes up to 25 per cent.