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Making Finance Work For Agriculture in Africa [Part 2]

Recap A continuation from last weekend’s article which discussed ‘Agriculture In Africa’.

Some of the key points described include – agriculture as a wealth sector in Africa, agricultural imports and exports, agriculture’s contribution to employment in Africa and unlocking agriculture value chains in part 1 (Read HERE)

This week focuses on:

GetFundedAfrica’s role in tracking Africa’s recent Agricultural Development

  • Case Studies
  • Understanding GFA
  • Tracking and data capturing
  • Conclusion

Case Studies

In the past, we profiled some institutional investors in Africa’s space HERE, analysed significant investments such as Twiga & Grainpulse and featured the continent’s outlook HERE

For this section we look at snaphosts of others sources for agricultural sector data tracked by GFA

Funding In Agriculture (Case of Kenya)

Investor: Anthemis Exponential Ventures

SME/ Company: Apollo Agriculture

Apollo Agriculture, the Kenyan agri-tech startup secured a US$6 million Series A funding round to continue rapidly scaling by partnering with more farmers, expanding its product offerings, and growing its team.

Apollo Agriculture

Founded in 2016, Apollo Agriculture  offers a mobile-based product suit for farmers that includes working capital, data analysis for higher crop yields and options to purchase key inputs and equipment.

The Nairobi-based start-up runs a platform that helps small farmers to improve their profitability through offering financing and insurance as well as farming products and advice. The company have served 20,000 customers in 2020 alone.

Funding In Agriculture (Case of Ghana)

Investor: Village Capital Agriculture Africa accelerator.

SME/Company: Complete Farmer,

Ghana’s Complete Farmer and Nigeria’s ReelFruit secured US$50,000 each in funding after getting peer-selected as winners of the Village Capital Agriculture Africa accelerator.

Ghana's Complete Farmer startup has now opened up for global expansion

Agriculture Africa 2019 was focused on solutions that improve outcomes for small farmers and address food security issues, and run in partnership with Small Foundation and Ceniarth, the latter of which committed US$50,000 to each of the top two peer-selected ventures.

The winners, who secured the funding, were Ghana’s Complete Farmer, which has developed an end-to-end digital agricultural platform that helps industries source for quality raw materials for their production, and Nigeria’s ReelFruit, which retails a range of six natural, healthy dried fruit and nut snacks, in over 250 retail supermarkets, airlines, hotels, and schools.

Funding In Agriculture (Case of South Africa)

Investor: Naspers Foundry

SME/Company: Naspers

Naspers announced a R100 million investment in agritech business Aerobotics, through its early-stage business funding initiative – Naspers Foundry. Aerobotics operates as a subscription-based artificial intelligence (AI) company that provides intelligent tools for the agricultural industry to manage its crops.

Naspers - Wikipedia

Aerobotics, founded by James Paterson and Benji Meltzer in 2014, is a leader in the application of artificial intelligence in agriculture. The insights Aerobotics provides to its clients include tree counts, the identification of missing trees, and the size and health of trees.

The company has progressed its technology to engineer fruit counts, and to provide data on fruit size and colour. Farmers use the intelligence to manage their farms, trees and fruit more efficiently. Aerobotics delivers the insights through their proprietary Aeroview platform and Aeroview InField mobile app.

Download GetFundedAfrica’s e-Guide to fundraising for start-up’s Here

Understanding GetFundedAfrica

To help deal with the identified problem of deal origination and investor readiness of SMEs and to match these two sides of the value-chain, we created a platform called GetFundedAfrica (also called GFA). GFA partners with VCs and investors to match them with investor-ready African businesses. GFA currently has VC & investor mandates running into tens of millions in US$.

For VCs: GFA digitises the deal origination process and leverages market/industry research, behavioral science, and machine learning to shorten the cycle for access to capital.

For SMEs: We offer multiple solutions to enable SMEs become investor-ready. These solutions include training, mentorship & community.

GFA Data is a robust platform that will allow SMEs filter and connect to the right investors by country, industry and more . GFA Data increases the probability of finding the right investor for African SMEs and saves hundreds of hours researching for the right investors. In addition, the platform allows investors to communicate with entrepreneurs who match their investment criteria.

Tracking and data capturing

In a typical company as a project moves forward, it becomes critical to track its progress through key indicators and data. This creates channels to acquire valuable feedback on whether or not the project objectives are being addressed. Also, factors that may not have been considered during the design stage or even in the implementation stage, sometimes become relevant through the collection of data and tracking different sets in the project.

The same is true in Africa, as the years go by and as African economies develop, there is a growing need to keep track of data such as Foreign Direct Investment(FDI), GDP, imports and exports etc. GetFundedAfrica tracks investment data across Africa and this can aid governments, investors and policy makers to make better decisions when it comes to their investment prospects and choosing the right sectors to invest in.

Tracking investment data across Africa can help Venture Capital companies and other investors, to improve understanding between each part of the investment process and know which steps need to be fixed or which are performing optimally. Furthermore, data gathered and tracked by GFA helps SMEs to understand and establish trends in their own sector and take advantage of opportunities available.

From January 2020 – to date GetFundedAfrica tracked about $9.6billion in funding activity in many countries across Africa. The platform has tracked about 108 African SMEs , 137 venture capital firms, 145 investment sources, 26 African countries, and over 43 industries across Africa, 5% of which are owned or promoted by female business leaders.

Conclusion

It is important to note the increasing need for Africans to begin to look at agriculture as a business and to invest more in African agriculture value chains. Data sourced from the African Development Bank shows that between 2005 and 2009 there had been a stable trade deficit, that then continued to grow steadily until 2011.

However after 2014 there has been a significant decrease in the trade deficit in Africa which could be because of the sharp increase in Agricultural investment in Africa. The World Bank reports that family farming will remain the single largest source of employment in the coming decade which is one of the many benefits of the investing in agriculture in Africa.

Africa’s agricultural players, need to leverage technology and market research to understand the global agricultural value chains and finance its stake in these spaces to achieve growth. GetFundedAfrica desires to play a key role in agricultural development in Africa, through investment tracking across the continent and connecting investment ready agricultural companies with equally compatible investors.

Download a copy of GFA’s Guide To Fundraising For African Start-Ups

GetFundedAfrica is a technology-based, business information platform operated by Afriscaper Research & Consulting Limited with a mission to reduce barriers to funding for African businesses. GFA matches investor ready, African & African-Diaspora owned companies with global investors, leveraging market research, industry data and news aggregation

Are you an entrepreneur? Share your story with us and get featured on our platform send us an email nichole@getfundedafrica.com

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