Complete Farmer, a Ghanaian agritech business, has raised $10.4 million in a pre-Series A fundraising round ($7 million equity and $3.4 million debt) to change farming techniques in Africa, according to Tech Crunch.
Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) and Alitheia Capital (through its uMunthu II Fund in collaboration with Goodwell Investments) participated in the funding round. The funding round was also attended by Proparco, Newton Partners, and VestedWorld Rising Star Fund. Debt finance was supplied by 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.
“We have been impressed with the progress that Complete Farmer has made in facilitating access to global trade for Ghanaian farmers, as well as introducing them to new crops and sustainable farming practices,” Tamer El-Raghy, the managing director of ARAF, says of the investment. “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.”
Complete Farmer is an “end-to-end agricultural marketplace” that connects African “producers and global industries to competitive markets, resources, data and each other”, according to Tech Crunch.
In other words, the agritech has “always been envisioned to be an end-to-end platform for the three key stakeholders on the agriculture value chain, food growers, food buyers, and food lovers,” according to the company’s website.
The company was founded in 2017 and has gone through various revisions before reaching its current condition. Desmond Koney, a mechanical engineer by training with past expertise in various projects, started the company. His projects included transforming kitchen organic waste into methane gas and launching a vertical farming venture. However, after inheriting his father’s farm, he became interested in agriculture, where he discovered various issues prevalent throughout the value chain, he tells Tech Crunch.
“My area of expertise was in production engineering, and I desired to digitize my father’s property,” he tells Tech Crunch. “However, this aspiration can be vague, as one must determine what business model works, what the product is, etc. We’ve had to make several adjustments to determine both.”
Complete Farmer started out as a contractor cultivating crops for clients. However, in 2018, the organization started a crowdfunding effort to allow individuals to invest in and monitor sustainable farms.It then shifted to an aggregator and marketplace model, and it now connects over 12,000 farmers across five important regions in Ghana.
According to Tech Crunch, it has also overseen the production of more than 30,000 acres of land, supplying commodities to Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world while lowering post-harvest losses. The corporation takes a 30% cut of the revenues generated by each exchange between farmers and purchasers.
According to an Oxford Business Group report, agriculture is still one of Africa’s most important economic sectors, employing the majority of the people and accounting for 14% of GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, unequal access to resources, climate, infrastructural, and technology obstacles, low remuneration, and other issues are impeding the expansion of the agricultural sector, which Complete Farmer hopes to change.