Top 5 Agritech Startups in Nigeria by Funds Raised in 2021/2022
Nigeria in recent years has seen an increase in the number of companies tackling the challenges of the agricultural sector with technology. With this growth, Nigeria has become one of the fastest growing agritech markets in sub-Saharan Africa, as the market continues to attract donors and support organizations from around the world.
Today, several agritech companies such as Farmcrowdy, Thrive Agric, AgroMall, Hello Tractor, and Crop2Cash among others are offering innovative digital solutions to solve Nigeria’s agricultural problems. These companies have launched digital solutions that aim to improve farmers’ access to markets, finance, assets and actionable data-driven insights.
However, investment in this segment is still very low as investors are turning away from agritech due to the perceived risk of investing in agriculture and the opportunity cost compared to other sectors. While some of the agritech startups have attracted business investment and received grants, many of these companies have yet to gain the momentum needed to scale.
Amid scarcity of funding in the sector, these agritech startups secured significant funding of a combined $84.05 for the reporting period
Hello Tractor ($1 Million)
- Hello Tractor is a Nigerian agritech company that focuses on connecting tractor owners and smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa through farm equipment sharing apps.
- Founded in 2014 by Jehiel Oliver and Van Jones, the company has rolled out a tracking device and software that allows farmers and tractor owners to book connected tractors from their phone. Farmers benefit from an essential service that was previously inaccessible to them, and owners see an opportunity for fleet optimization that also minimizes fuel theft and fraud.
- In May 2022, Hello Tractor raised $1 million in funding from Heifer International, which helps local farmers and food producers strengthen local economies and create secure livelihoods that provide vital income. The money is funding a new program, “Tractor Pay-as-You-Go Financing (PAYG) for Increased Agricultural Productivity in Nigeria.”
Vendease ($3.2 million)
- Vendease is an agri-tech startup that enables restaurants and other food businesses to source directly from manufacturers and farms. The agritech platform recently raised $3.2m in seed funding to transform Africa’s food supply chain in a funding round led by Global Founders Capital with participation from Y Combinator, Hustle Fund, Liquid 2 Ventures and Soma Cap.
- The funding comes seven months after the company, along with nine other African entrepreneurs, participated in Y Combinator’s winter batch.
- Vendease was founded in January 2020 by Tunde Kara, Olumide Fayankin, Gatumi Aliyu and Wale Oyepeju, to solve food supply chain issues in Africa by automating procurement procedures, storage operations, logistics and providing flexible payment systems to help food businesses grow.
- Through its mobile and web applications, Vendease enables food businesses to place food orders, manage inventory, track expenses and access credit facilities.
Liberation ($4.2 million)
- Releaf is an agritech start-up founded by Ikenna Nzewi and Uzoma Ayogu, which focuses on developing proprietary hardware and software solutions that make African farmers and food factories more efficient and profitable.
- The 2021 company raised $2.7 million in a seed funding round led by Samurai Incubate Africa, Future Africa and Consonance Investment Managers, with participation from Bain Capital Chairman Stephen Pagliuca and Justin Kan (Twitch ). In addition, Releaf has also secured $1.5 million in Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) and USAID grants, totaling $4.2 million in seed and grant funding.
- Releaf’s software connects the startup to more than 2,000 smallholder farmers, ensuring consistent supply at scale. While palm kernel oil production is no stranger to Nigeria, Releaf’s technology and scale allow it to process 500 tonnes of palm kernels per week.
- The software offerings also allow the startup to receive incoming supply requests from farmers via USSD, provide working capital financing as well as collect proprietary data on supply availability.
Agricorp ($17.5 million)
- Agricorp is a Nigerian spice production, processing and exporting company. The company September of last year raised $17.5m in Series A funding to increase its processing capacity to 7,000 metric tons.
- This fund was raised from Vami Nigeria, One Capital LLC and AFEX. Nigerian company Vami led the funding round with $11.5 million in equity, while the other investors provided working capital funding to the company. Ernst & Young (Nigeria) acted as transaction advisors while Elisio Law Office and Pavestone Legal acted as legal advisors.
- Founded in 2018 by Kenneth Obiajulu and Wale Omotimirin, Agricorp helps meet the growing demand for spices as an export material. Data from the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture shows that despite being the third largest exporter of ginger in the world, Nigeria’s ginger production is estimated at 31 million tons while demand is estimated at 65 million tons, leaving a gap of 34 million tonnes.
ThriveAgric ($58.15 million)
- ThriveAgric not only recorded the biggest fundraiser in the agritech sector, it was one of the top fundraisers for Nigerian startups in the first quarter of 2022. The company was founded by Uka Eje and Ayodeji Arikawe to provide access to funding, premium markets and data. advice to small farmers.
- Last year the company was awarded a grant of $1.75 million to supporting 50,000 smallholder farmers growing rice, maize and soybeans in Nigeria. The grant is provided by the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve food security in the country.
- In March 2022, ThriveAgric secured $56.4 million in debt funding from commercial banks and institutional investors, bringing its total fund raised between 2021 and 2022 to $58.15 million.
- With this new investment, the company plans to expand its base of more than 200,000 farmers and enter new markets in Africa, including Ghana, Zambia and Kenya.