ThriveAgric, a rapidly expanding technology-driven agricultural company, has secured $56.4 million in debt funding from local commercial banks and institutional investors.
A $1.75 million co-investment grant from the USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Program was also included in the funding round. The new funding will allow the company to extend its 200,000-plus farmer base and enter new African countries such as Ghana, Zambia, and Kenya.
ThriveAgric, which was founded in 2017 (and has been fully operational since 2018), enables Nigerian farmers to sell their products to FMCGs and food processors by leveraging its proprietary technology to gain access to finance, improve productivity, and increase sales in order to promote food security.
The technology, an Agricultural Operating System (AOS), works entirely offline, dispatches USSD to farmers, and powers Android apps used by field agents to help digitally collate creditworthy farmers and gather relevant farm data.
This latest round of funding comes after the company raised $9 million in 2020. ThriveAgric’s revenues have increased fivefold in the last year, with a 277 percent growth in farmer numbers year over year.
Farmers who used the company’s AOS unique product contributed to the company’s good profit performance.
The company supports Africa’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.
Smallholder farmers constitute over 80% of the Nigerian agriculture industry. Access to finance, advisory, and markets are significant barriers. 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’s AOS (Agricultural Operating System) solution was used by 205,000 farmers in 2021, up from 53,000 in 2020. In addition, the platform produced and traded up to 6% of Nigeria’s entire maize demand.