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Home Startups ThriveAgric in Trouble for Allegedly Holding Investors at Ransom

ThriveAgric in Trouble for Allegedly Holding Investors at Ransom

by James Musoba
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Thrive Agric, a crowdfunding platform for farmers launched in 2017 by Uka Eje, is in trouble for allegedly holding investors at ransom.

The startup has been accused of not paying investors as promised even though it had updated them on the progress of their crowd-funded projects and on all farming activities and expected returns before the harvest.

Speaking to TechMoran earleir, Eje said that him and his co-founder, fresh out of school were faced with data of post-harvest losses farmers faced and spent four years focused on building a supply chain for farmers in northern Nigeria, linking them to processing companies across the country.

“During this process, we discovered farmers had three major challenges which were finance for their farms, access to better inputs, low yield from their farms because of insufficient data to help improve their yield and access to premium markets. On the other hand were urban dwelling Nigerians excited about agriculture but without the time and skill making entry barrier too high. We decided to fix this by building a platform that connects both parties and the result is Thrive Agric today.

The firm says it has sen great success and farmers are making more yields which translate to more money and the people who fund these farmers are making exciting returns also. however, that seems to be contrary of what some investors are going through.

“January 8th, I invested in ThriveAgric, I also got some of my colleagues to do so because I mean they had been running, paying and I never saw any signs of issues,” said Tega Edwin-Ajogun. “Today, I can comfortably say that that was the worst decision of my life. I don’t even know how to face the people who I referred.”

Tega, a director at Qlick Digital Agency says she invested way above a million Naira with tThrive Agric and has been expecting to collect her money by the end of the first week of November. However, earlier in the year, not too long after she invested, she started hearing rumors about ThriveAgric not paying back some investors.

Tega had nothing to worry about as her payments were shechleduled to be paid in November. But when her sister-in-law said she had issues with the firm, she got a little bit nervous.

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Head of Growth, Thrive Agric, Charles Isidi
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That’s when she reached out to Uka Eje in the first week in September 2020, and he assured her money will come out in Oct and Nov 2020. but it was just an empty promise.

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“29th of September, I finally got an email from ThriveAgric, 1 week to my payment deadline, basically telling me to wait 12 more months. I immediately reached out to both Charles Isidi and Uka Eje and they said there was nothing they could do. Their focus was on keeping their brand alive, even when I explained how badly I needed my money,” she said.

Tega said the lack of empathy especially from Charles Isidi was so glaring, they never picked my calls even though she called the whole day.

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According to her, the worst thing about all this is that she had been seeing regular updates on their website indicating her rice farm was a success but the firm couldn’t pay up.

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