GHANA – Ghanaian agri-tech startup, Farmerline has raised US$12.9 million in pre-series A funding round (equity and debt) to strengthen the agribusiness supply chain in Ghana.
The equity funding (US$6.4 million) was led by Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) and FMO, with participation from Greater Impact Foundation.
The debt round saw participation from DEG, Rabobank, Ceniarth, Rippleworks, Mulago Foundation, Whole Planet Foundation, the Netri Foundation, and Kiva.
The agritech firm will utilize its first equity capital to construct physical infrastructures such as warehouses and distribution networks.
In addition, the company will also use the capital to strengthen its supply chain for agribusinesses, reduce the cost of farming, and increase yield for farmers on the continent through the deployment of AI technology and local infrastructure.
Founded in 2013 by Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu Addai, Farmerline intends to help farmers gain faster access to markets, resulting in more profits and less post-harvest loss and waste.
According to Attah, CEO of Farmerline, It’s crucial for the startup to have a network of partners who can assist the firm in quickly delivering inputs like fertilizer and seeds to remote regions, as well as agricultural produce from remote areas.
Farmerline, he claims, does not seek to bring all logistics and storage in-house, but rather wants to be more effective, which necessitates working with the proper partners.
The firm collaborates with agribusinesses often small retail stores that offer farm inputs to guarantee farmers have access to high-quality products.
It also uses these business owners, who are often the initial point of contact for farms, to disseminate educational materials and bring farmers together for learning.
The collaborating shops use Mergdata, the start-up’s patented AI technology platform for supply chain intelligence, to digitize the farmers they serve and provide the data needed by agritech to forecast agricultural supply needs.
The expansion plans of the startup come at a time when growth and deployment of technology have been a positive development in the African agricultural system.
Entrepreneurs on the continent are now fascinated by how farmers work and how they might assist in increasing output.
Cloud computing, computing systems, networking, open-source software, and other digital tools have all grown cheaper and more available, lowering the challenge of acquiring farming technology.
Farmers who are normally out of reach owing to limitations in connectivity, literacy, or language will benefit from Farmerline’s mobile and online technologies, which will provide farming guidance, weather forecasts, market data, and financial insights.
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