Ghanaian startup AgroCenta has raised US$790,000 in pre-Series A funding to scale its agri-tech ecosystem and secure crop purchases from smallholder farmers.
Founded in 2016, AgroCenta operates a mobile merchanting platform which provides market information, storage and delivery solutions, and financial services to smallholder farmers in Ghana.
Since its launch, registered farmers on AgroCenta’s app, CropChain, have rapidly grown from 3,000 to over 46,000, mainly handling white and yellow maize, rice, soybean, cowpeas, and sorghum.
The startup, which was winner of the Seedstars World competition back in 2018 and raised seed funding the same year, has now secured US$790,000 in pre-Series A investment from Shell Foundation, FCDO, AV Ventures and Rabo Foundation.
AgroCenta will use the funding to further develop its smallholder farmer inclusion programmes and procure crops at transparent and fair market prices to service offtake contracts.
The startup’s chief executive officer (CEO) Francis Obirikorang and co-founder Michael Ocansey said the investment was vitally important.
“This is a significant milestone for AgroCenta, having the support of leading institutions, particularly with the COVID-19 backdrop, underlining the strength of AgroCenta and the importance of its mission,” they said.
“The demand for agricultural raw materials from offtakers in the brewery, manufacturing and consumer sector is increasing exponentially because of the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions that were put in place by the government of Ghana, hence this capital injection will help to secure purchases at fair and transparent prices from smallholders — a much needed lifeline for many who are at the proverbial bottom of the pyramid.”