ThriveAgric makes the top 20 fastest-growing companies list by the Financial Times and Statista

ThriveAgric, facing a near shutdown in 2020, bounced back to become one of Africa's top 20 fastest-growing companies according to the FT ranking.

ThriveAgric makes the top 20 fastest-growing companies list by the Financial Times and Statista

ThriveAgric, a Nigerian agritech company focused on empowering smallholder farmers, is a major player on the continent. According to the Financial Times' ranking of Africa's Fastest Growing Companies, Thrive Agric is among the top 20, alongside Omniretail, Kyosk Digital, Resourgenix, Moniepoint and Afex.

Additionally, South Africa dominated this year's list with 42 of the 125 fastest-growing companies. Nigeria wasn't far behind with 25 entries, while Kenya and Morocco each had a strong showing with 12 companies.

Founded in 2017 by Uka Eje and Ayodeji Arikawe, the company achieved significant growth, reaching $73.26 million in revenue by the end of 2022 with a compound annual growth rate of 120.1%. This achievement is even more impressive considering the challenges they faced.

ThriveAgric's success wasn't without hurdles. The COVID-19 pandemic caused delays in repayments to retail investors (crowd-funders) in April 2021, marking a difficult period for the startup. However, as CEO Uka Eje stated, "Despite a volatile backdrop over the past few years, brought about by the global pandemic…we were able to overcome those challenges within a year and maintained company profitability."

"I’m so proud of the team. Couldn’t ask for more," Adia Sowho, the chief marketing officer at MTN Nigeria posted on X.

Amidst ThriveAgric's most challenging year in 2020, a Sowho emerged as a turnaround hero. She was brought in by investor Ventures Platform to serve as interim CEO. Her mission: save the company.

Sowho's leadership proved decisive. "A lot of the things I did were an outcome of the experience that I have working in building organisations," she reflected in a 2022 interview after stepping down. "These things don’t happen by accident. The success of any enterprise has to be by design."

ThriveAgric has since shifted its focus. Crowdfunding from retail investors is on hold as they concentrate on building innovative technology solutions to support their core agricultural business.

The Nigerian agritech startup is embracing innovation. In June 2022, co-founder Ayodeji Arikawe unveiled their Agricultural Operating System (AOS) at the Visa Everywhere Initiative for the CEMEA region. This product aims to digitise the African agricultural value chain, and remarkably, AOS emerged victorious in the competition.

To empower their over 200,000-strong farmer base and expand into new African markets like Ghana, Zambia, and Kenya, ThriveAgric secured $56.4 million in debt funding from the USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment. 

Related Article: ThriveAgric to generate $56 million in carbon revenue for 30,000 Nigerian farmers

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