Nigerian agri-tech startup Farmcrowdy has raised seed funding of US$1 million from a group of international and local investors to help it scale across the country.
Farmcrowdy gives Nigerians the opportunity to participate in agriculture by selecting the kind of farms they want to sponsor. Funds are used to secure the land, engage the farmer, plant the seeds, insure produce, complete the full farming cycle, sell the harvest and then pay the farm sponsor a return on their sponsorship.
The company was the only African startup selected to take part in the Techstars Atlanta 2017 cohort, and has now raised funding from firms including Cox Enterprises, Techstars Ventures, Social Capital, Hallett Capital and Right-Side Capital, as well as angel investors Tyler Scriven, Michael Cohn, Josephine Group, FC Agro Allied SPV and Dr Christof Walter.
The funding will allow Farmcrowdy to scale its operations into 20 states in Nigeria, work with 4,000 additional small-scale farmers, and engage a combined 20,000 new farm followers and farm sponsors on its platform.
“Today’s seed announcement is a remarkable milestone for us and Nigeria’s agri-tech industry as a whole – especially having just celebrated the anniversary of our first year of operations in November 2017,” said Onyeka Akumah, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Farmcrowdy.
“It will allow us to build on our earlier traction as we continue to introduce Nigerians to this exciting new category of partnering with farmers for impact and return. We are happy to amplify our work with the farmers across new states in Nigeria while empowering local farmers by hiring more agriculture technology experts to impart knowledge to ensure best practice in farming methods. We’re thrilled that as a Nigerian startup operating for just over a year, we have a group of investors who share in the vision and mission of Farmcrowdy as much as we do.”
Farmcrowdy recently launched its first mobile app, which provides an accessible platform for agriculture enthusiasts to experience, learn, do their farming business and appreciate agriculture practice first-hand through regular updates, images and videos from the farms.
There is now the opportunity for farm sponsors and farm followers to digitally track the progress of their sponsored farms from their mobile devices. The app has seen close to 5,000 downloads in the three weeks since launch, positioning the startup to take on more farm followers and sponsors both locally in Nigeria and globally.
“Onyeka Akumah and the Farmcrowdy team are changing the global dynamics of farming and agriculture. Techstars is proud and honored to be a continued part of the Farmcrowdy journey via investment from Techstars Ventures, the venture capital arm of Techstars. We first met the Farmcrowdy team at Techstars Atlanta in partnership with Cox Enterprises and were immediately impressed by their vision, execution, and the vast scope of their potential impact to the world,” said Cody Simms, partner at Techstars Ventures.