Ghanaian Agtech Farmer’s line has secured $1.5 million equity financing from Dutch impact investor Oikocredit during the second close of the pre-series A round. The new financing brings the total amount raised in the round to $14.4 million, including $6.4 in debt financing.
The funding comes at a time when Farmerline, which has operations across Ghana, is setting up shop in Côte d’Ivoire as it continues its expansion in West Africa.
Founded in 2013 by Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu AddaiFarmerline works through agro-dealers, who are usually the first point of knowledge for farmers, to access high-quality supplies, including fertilizers and seeds.
The partner stores use the startups Merge data, a patented AI technology platform for supply chain intelligence, to digitize the farmers they serve and generate the data needed to forecast demand for farm supplies and prevent stock-outs. It also uses that data to determine the amount of business expansion credit to be given to agro-dealers.
“With Oikocredit’s support alongside our first-round financiers, our distribution, logistics and financing services will continue not only in Ghana, but also in Côte d’Ivoire, where we have recently started expanding our team,” said Attah in a statement. .
In a previous interview, Attah told londonbusinessblog.com that Farmerline is expanding its physical infrastructure, such as warehouses and distribution networks, to turn it into a marketplace that enables faster movement of supplies to and from rural areas. The logistics network also supports farmers to quickly access markets for better incomes and to reduce post-harvest losses and waste.
Farmerline said it plans to strengthen its farm supply chain to reduce farming costs and increase yields for farmers across the continent through the deployment of AI technology and local infrastructure.
“As fertilizer prices more than quadruple and the conflict in Ukraine amplifies global food security challenges, this investment is critical,” the report said.
Farmerline has so far claimed to have funded approximately $18 million worth of inputs and crops through franchised retail alliances with farms and input dealers.
The startup aims to reach 300,000 farmers by 2022, a growth of nearly 400% compared to last year when it doubled its direct reach to 79,000 farmers, up from 36,000 in 2020 and 8,000 in 2019.
Mila Georgieva, equity officer at Oikocredit, said: “The damaging impact of skyrocketing fertilizer costs on smallholder farmers in Africa is clear. With our investment in Farmerline, we support those most affected by price volatility. Our investments in the agricultural sector are at the heart of Oikocredit’s work as a social impact investor, and we have already identified synergies with other portfolio companies. We are excited to support Farmerline Group and smallholder communities in Ghana and Ivory Coast.”
Farmerline’s other equity investors include the Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF), FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank and the Greater Impact Foundation.