Agricorp a Nigerian startup that leverages tech to deploy spices exportation has recently raised US$17.5 million in Series A funding.
The funding round was led by Vami a Nigerian-based VC firm, with participation from AFEX and One Capital LLC.
The startup founded Wale Omotimirin and Kenneth Obiajulu aims to become the leading exporter of spices on the continent and looking at deploying the raised fund to increase its production capacity to 7,000 metric tonnes while setting up regional sales operations in East and South Africa.
Launched in 2018, Agriccorp has till date assisted more than 5,000 smallholder farmers by providing best practices on agronomy and has also built a 0.5MT/hour spice processing plant in Kaduna.
Agricorp has created a database for farmers called Farmbase to sign up, collate and make payments to farmers.
The startup has taken this step to address the challenge of small holders farmers not having formal documentation.
The database will assists stakeholders with analysis, thereby enabling them to make informed decisions that will support smallholder farmers activities ranging from farm input to the point of eventual payment.
Agricorp’s farmbase would also enable financial institutions leverage this information to give financial services including credit facilities and loans.
Speaking on the raised fund, Kenneth Obiajulu , Chief Executive Officer at Agricorp said:
“We believe that by increasing our capacity to 7,000MT, we will maximise the potential to boost Nigeria’s forex earnings through export, contribute our quota to improving the Nigerian GDP from agriculture, and serve as a worthy model to African youths who aspire to be agribusiness owners. We want to show them it is possible and very rewarding as well,”
Lead investor, Vami Nigeria also added “we led the round because we saw a clear growth path, strong social impact, excellent financial trajectory, and global collaborations with key partners. Most importantly, the depth of knowledge, passion, and resilience of the team is unrivalled.”
Nigeria is the second largest producer of ginger in the world, but meagrely accounts for just 3.5% of the export market share due to capacity constraints and consistency. With this investment, Agricorp can deliver on exporting ginger and other processed spices to major buyers in the Middle East, Europe and America.
Agricorp offers global exports to clients of ginger sourced in key trading markets in Kaduna (Nigeria). The startup presently operates an origination processing facility in Nigeria.
In 2019, the team invested in building a semi-mechanized processing facility in Kaduna, capable of processing over 5,000MT of ginger annually.
The facility has employed over 100 local workers which include 80% women.
In 2020, the company established its UK entity (Agricorp Inc.) to support its marketing efforts in pushing more products to Europe.
The mission of the startup is to engage African agricultural stakeholders in the spices sector to increase productivity, reduce post harvest losses and deploy optimal market linkages to major processors.
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