Ghanaian Agritech startup, AgroCenta has raised $790,000 pre-series A funding round from Shell Foundation, FCDO, AV Ventures and Rabo Foundation.
Founded in 2015 by ex-soko employees, Francis Obirikorang and Michael K. Ocansey, the startup main aim was to improve the agricultural value chain in Ghana by solving two critical problems rural-based small holder farmers faced namely, access to market and access to finance. The startup’s Cropchain and LendIt platforms solve these two problems. The Cropchain platform is an integrated agricultural supply chain management platform that allows organizations to manage everything in the agricultural supply chain from out grower schemes, logistics, traceability to digital trading, quality assurance and data analytics. On the other hand, the LendIt platform, enables farmers access to digital services such as mobile money payments for commodities sold, micro-lending/input financing, crop insurance and pension scheme for the informal sector.
AgroCenta will use the funding to further develop its smallholder farmer inclusion programmes and procure crops at transparent and fair market prices to service offtake contracts.
In 2018, the startup clinched several accolades at the Environment and Green Energy category at the World Summit Awards, the Young Entrepreneurs Competition at the World Export Development Forum and the African Social Good Category at Tech Crunch Startup Battlefield Africa.
“This is a significant milestone for AgroCenta, having the support of leading institutions, particularly with the COVID-19 backdrop, underlining the strength of AgroCenta and the importance of its mission.” Said the startup’s chief executive officer Francis Obirikorang and co-founder Michael Ocansey.
“The demand for agricultural raw materials from off-takers in the brewery, manufacturing and consumer sector is increasing exponentially because of the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions that were put in place by the government of Ghana, hence this capital injection will help to secure purchases at fair and transparent prices from smallholders — a much-needed lifeline for many who are at the proverbial bottom of the pyramid.”