Ghana’s Farmerline, a social software enterprise providing access to players in the farming value chain has announced its raise of $12.9 million in funding. Of the total amount, $6.4 million comprises a Pre-Series A investment and $6.5 million debt makes up the rest.
This raiser will be used to build and develop physical infrastructure including warehouses and distribution networks. A part of the investment will also go into regional expansion in Ghana and then into Côté d’Ivoire.
The equity round was led by Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, with participation from Greater Impact Foundation. Debt sourcing came from DEG, Rabobank, Ceniarth, Rippleworks, Mulago Foundation, Whole Planet Foundation, the Netri Foundation and Kiva.
Farmerline partners with agro-input suppliers and commodity brokers, giving farmers access to wider markets and quality produce. The retailers in turn act as the ears and mouth of Farmerline. This method works effectively for Farmerline as it extenuates what would have been a competition into partnership. As farmers get the right resources and tools, they can challenge food insecurity and sustainability – and generate prosperity for the continent.
The partnering retailers use the startup’s Mergdata, a proprietary AI technology platform for supply chain intelligence, to digitize the farmers they serve, and to generate the data the agritech needs to predict the demand of farm supplies.
The software also offers real-time traceability, certification audit, farm mapping, farmer education, and analytics solutions to help organizations that work with farmers achieve their sustainability and food security goals efficiently.
The startup is driving at making Farmerline the “Amazon” for farmers where they can access these timely services and other quality resources at affordable prices in their community.
Farmerline started out working with 400 farmers in its home market of Ghana and has grown its user base to serve over 75,000 farmers. Farmerline also leagues with more than 3,000 agribusinesses, food manufacturers, buyers, governments, and non-governmental organizations that have supported 500 partnerships across 25 countries to reach over one million farmers.
Attah Allosyius, co-founder and CEO of Farmerline said “We plan to use the funding to strengthen our infrastructure, that is warehouses and distribution channels. Having a network of partners that can help us quickly move inputs like fertilizer and seeds to rural areas, and farm produce from rural areas, is important and part of what we do.
He added that “we don’t intend to bring all of the logistics and storage in-house, but we want to be more efficient and that means working with the right partners.”