Farmerline, an agric-tech startup that provides support to farmers in Ghana, has raised $1.5 million in its pre-series A funding round. The fund was raised from Dutch impact investor, Oikocredit.
Prior to the newly raised fund, Farmerline had raised an equity investment of $6.4 million, and $6.5 million debt financing, bringing the total fund raised by the Ghanaian startup to $14.4 million. The equity investment was made by Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF), FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, and Greater Impact Foundation.
The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled by the inflation that hit agricultural materials, especially fertilizers, has left many farmers without the needed support to improve on their production, and this is putting a threat on the future of food security.
Farmerline, which was co-founded in 2013 by Alloysius Attah, and Emmanuel Addai, has positioned itself to cushion the pressure that farmers are experiencing by providing high-quality fertiliser and seeds to farmers. The startup also provides free education on climate-smart farming practices, and connect farmers to international markets.
With the funding, Farmerline said it will press on with its quest to expend into francophone countries, starting with Cote D’Ivoire, by the first quarter of 2023. The startup also said it will strengthen its supply chain with the deployment of infrastructure and artificial intelligence.
“We believe that data is going to play a major role in our development as a company and also for the agribusiness space. We want to use data to predict where to place relevance in infrastructure, such as warehousing, delivery, route schedules, etc,” Farmerline COO, Emmanuel Addai said.
In the move to educate farmers, Farmerline said it has reached out to 1.5 million farmers in over 35 African countries.
“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 the Ivory Coast where we’ve recently begun the process of expanding our team. We need to work closely with all partners and stakeholders in the agricultural sector through this critical period to create sustainable food system solutions that benefit African farmers,” CEO, Alloysius Attah said.
Speaking on the partnership, Mila Georgieva, Equity Officer at Oikocredit, 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.”