Farmerline ,a Ghanaian based agritech startup has secured US$ 1.5 million equity funding from Dutch impact investor Oikocredit in its second close of the pre-series A round. The new investment is part of a total funding round worth US$ 14.4 million from investors including FMO and ARAF.
Founded in 2013 by Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu Addai, Farmerline works through agro-dealers, who are the first point of knowledge for farmers, in ensuring access to high-quality supplies, including fertilizer and seeds.
Alloysius Attah, co-founder and CEO of Farmerline, said: “We remain committed to standing by farmers and agribusinesses across Africa during this crucial time. With the support of Oikocredit alongside our first-round funders, our distribution, logistics and financing services will continue not only in Ghana but also in Ivory Coast where we’ve recently begun the process of expanding our team.”
Farmerline offers smallholder farmers and agribusinesses with digital tools, logistics, field agents and farm resources .Furthermore, the company also provides smallholder farmers with access to high-quality fertiliser and seeds, free education on climate-smart farming practices and connections to international markets.
Its partner retailers use the startup’s Mergdata, a proprietary AI technology platform for supply chain intelligence, to digitize the farmers they serve, and to generate the data required to predict the demand of farm supplies and prevent stock-outs. It also uses that data to determine the amount of business expansion credit to give to agro-dealers.
Farmline recently closed a Pre-Series A equity investment of US$ 6.4 million and US$ 6.5 million debt aimed at strengthening its supply chain for agribusinesses to reduce the cost of farming and increase yield for farmers on the continent through the deployment of AI technology and local infrastructure.
The company stated that as fertiliser prices more than quadruple and the conflict in Ukraine compounds global food security challenges, the investment is crucial.
Farmerline claimed to have so far financed around $18 million worth of inputs and crops through franchise shop alliances with agribusinesses and input dealers and its targeting to reach 300,000 farmers in 2022, a nearly 400% increase in growth 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.
Oikocredit’s equity officer, Mila Georgieva, said, “The harmful impact of rocketing fertiliser costs on smallholder farmers in Africa is clear. With our investment in Farmerline, we are supporting those most affected by the price volatility. Our investments in the agriculture sector are at the core of Oikocredit’s work as a social impact investor, and we have already identified synergies with other portfolio companies. We are thrilled to support Farmerline Group and smallholder communities across Ghana and Ivory Coast.”
Farmerline’s other equity investors include Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF), FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, and Greater Impact Foundation.