Agritech Startup Farmerline Secures $1.5 Million Equity Funding From Social Impact Investor Oikocredit

Agritech Startup Farmerline Secures $1.5 Million Equity Funding From Social Impact Investor Oikocredit

Farmerline, a Ghanaian agritech startup, has announced an additional $1.5 million in funding to bring its total pre-Series A round to $14.4 million.

The new fund raised comes at a time when Farmerline, which has operations across Ghana, is setting up facilities in Ivory Coast as it continues its expansion across West Africa.

According to the startup, the new round of funds raised will be used to strengthen its supply chain in agribusiness and further develop the startup’s infrastructure.

Registration for Tekedia Mini-MBA (Feb 6 – May 6 2023) has startedClick and register here. Cost is N60,000 or $140 for the 12-week program if you register by Dec 3, 2022. Beat the early bird for free books, discounts and other bonuses. 

Farmerline witnessed the real-time impacts of the hike in fertilizer prices resulting from the Russia and Ukraine war. Last month, it launched the Support a Farmer initiative, a public crowdfunding campaign to raise GH¢1 million ($ 100,000) with the aim of providing 250,000 bags of discounted fertilizer to 25,000 farmers across Ghana.

Co-founder and CEO of Farmerline Alloysius Attah said, “Because of the Russia-Ukraine war fertilizer prices have skyrocketed almost three times what it was last year. We realized as a company we needed to reason with the agribusinesses and the farmers that we work with and do something that will help them acquire the fertilizers.

“In a recent Farmerline survey, we found that more than half of the Ghanaian farmers we spoke to hadn’t applied any fertilizer to their crops just weeks before the end of planting season. An additional 33% said they’ve only partially applied the fertilizer they need.

“It’s simply too expensive, and therefore imperative for us to not only do something to soften that burden but also provide an opportunity for everyday Ghanaians to stand in solidarity with the farming community during this turbulent time”.

Founded in 2013, Farmerline has been aiding and transforming rural smallholder farmers into successful entrepreneurs by delivering data and services that improve productivity, decisions, practices, crop outputs, income, and livelihoods, leading to employment opportunities and increased income.

The startup was reported to have started with an $800 grant by the founder Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel and co-founder Owusu Addai in 2013. At that time, Farmerline was delivering timely agronomic voice messages to 800 farmers across Ghana through its technology platform Mergdata. 

Mergdata, the startup’s own globally-licensed platform, was on Time’s list of the top 100 innovations of 2019. Farmerline has leased Mergdata to over 60 partners mainly in Africa and others in Asia and Latin America, which facilitates farmer profiling, traceability, messaging and digital payments.

It now seeks to evolve the Mergdata platform, making it more AI-powered to deliver intelligence such as crop yield prediction, fertilizer demand forecasting and product traceability needed in the industry. It claims to have reached over 1.5 million farmers in 35 countries via the platform.

The agritech startup also offers input financing to farmers through organized groups, climate-smart farming education, logistics services, access to high-quality fertilizer and seeds, and other digital tools while connecting them to agribusinesses in international markets.

It claims to have financed around $18 million worth of inputs and crops through franchise shop alliances with agribusinesses and input dealers.  In Ghana, Farmerline engaged with over 77,000 farmers last year, directly selling products to them and buying their crops. The team at the startup has projected that this number could go up to 140,000.

Share this post

Post Comment