6 Nigerian agri-tech startups to compete for FCMB funding, support

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Six Nigerian agri-tech startups have been named finalists of the FCMB Agritech EPIC Pitch 2020, which will provide winners with cash funding and other types of support.

Disrupt Africa reported in July Nigeria’s First City Monument Bank (FCMB) had partnered Passion Incubator to launch the third edition of the competition, setting aside NGN1.5 million (US$4,000) to support the top two startups in the programme.

Other benefits for winners include mentor support, workspace, and access to market and networks, while entrepreneurs will also have access to Passion Incubator’s resources, partner organisation support, and business development services.

The application phase saw close to 2,000 agri-tech startups from over 16 countries around the world apply, with 10 startups named semi-finalists. After two days of semi-final pitches, six of those companies have progressed to the final.

Those finalists are all Nigerian, and include Farmz2U, which helps farmers access tailored agricultural expertise using data and market access via system integrations; Beat Drone, which uses drones for spraying, crop health assessment and farmland mapping; and ColdHubs, which designs, installs, commissions and operates solar-powered walk-in cold rooms.

The remaining three finalists are Tradebuza, which digitises commodities sourcing and trade for large agribusinesses who run out-grower schemes; Farmspeak Technology, which manufactures IoT-powered that use artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose poultry diseases; and AgroHive, an HR-tech startup that helps agribusinesses access a consistent supply of skilled agricultural staff.

Demo day is tomorrow (Friday, August 28), with the finalists pitching virtually to a judging panel that will decide the winners.

“We are passionate about supporting Nigeria’s tech ecosystem and this initiative is one of the ways through which we are building and accelerating the growth of the agri-tech startups in Nigeria, as well as the larger African continent,” said Rolayo Akhigbe, divisional head of transaction banking at FCMB.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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