Complete Farmer, a Ghanaian agritech startup, has secured a $10.4 million pre-Series A funding round to make its service offerings more robust. The funding was made up of $7 million in equity and $3.4 million in debt.
The equity part of the funding round was spearheaded by the duo of Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) and Alitheia Capital (via its uMunthu II Fund in partnership with Goodwell Investments).
Other participants include Proparco, Newton Partners, and VestedWorld Rising Star Fund. Meanwhile, debt financing came from Sahel Capital’s SEFAA (Social Enterprise Fund for Agriculture in Africa) Fund, Alpha Mundi Group’s Alpha Jiri Investment Fund, and Global Social Impact Investments.
According to a McKinsey report, Africa’s agricultural sector plays a significant social and economic role in the continent. Small scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa exceeds 60%, although agriculture accounts for approximately 23% of the region’s GDP.
In spite of this apparent potential, the sector still finds it difficult to participate in global supply chains due to infrastructural limitations. To solve this problem, it’s essential to enhance and increase productive and economic conditions across African countries.
This is why a startup like Complete Farmer is changing farming practices in the region by developing critical technical and physical infrastructure to enable efficiency across the agricultural value chain in the continent.
The Ghanaian startup is a digital agriculture value chain platform that connects all stakeholders by using big data, precision agriculture and digital technologies. The platform connects African farmers and global industries to competitive markets, resources, data and each other.
It utilizes in-house cultivation protocols for crop production. This ensures that small and large-scale farmers can rear crops and other agricultural products that satisfy international market needs, reducing post-harvest losses.
According to TechCrunch, since they launched in 2017, the agritech has undergone several iterations before its current state. After graduating as a mechanical engineer, CEO Desmond Koney tried his hands-on multiple projects, including a device that converted kitchen organic refuse into methane gas and a vertical farming venture.
However, Koney quickly found his footing in agriculture after inheriting his father’s farm, where he discovered several challenges widespread throughout the value chain.
The funding will be channelled into developing new products, like a finance solution that promotes remittances from buyers to farmers. Complete Farmer wants to create a vendor outlet that facilitates the purchase of fertilizers and commodities by farmers to increase their farm efficiency.
Meanwhile, the debt financing will be used to fund capital expenditures and working capital investments. Additionally, it intends to increase the number of fulfilment centres in Ghana and expand into new markets like Togo
Tamer El-Raghy, the MD of ARAF, commented on his company’s willingness to support the startup. Raghy said that he and the team loved Complete Farmer’s great strides in helping Ghanaian farmers break into the global scene. “Complete Farmer’s technology platform and farming protocols enable farmers to access quality inputs, agronomical support, and premium markets, resulting in improved yields and income as reported by the farmers themselves,” he further stated.
The agritech startup serves producers and buyers of commodities with two main innovations: CF Grower and CF Buyer. CF Grower is farmer-oriented, meaning that it helps farmers enhance their output. It also connects them with global markets and improves their living standards with precision farming tools and data-based cultivation protocols.
Meanwhile, CF Buyer targets global buyers with reliable access to agricultural commodities that meet their market needs. Clients can browse a vast network of farmers and buy standard items using a fully digitized channel. They can also track the progress of orders up till the fulfilment stage.