Kenyan startup iProcure, a tech and data-driven agricultural inputs supply company, has announced the close of a US$10.2 million Series B funding round to support its expansion into Uganda and Tanzania, as well as the launch of a credit offering for agro-retailers to purchase supplies on credit.
Launched in 2013, iProcure has developed its own distribution infrastructure, connecting major agricultural input suppliers directly to local agro-dealers via its proprietary distribution technology system.
By cutting out the multiple levels of middlemen in the traditional agricultural supply chain and providing technology-driven insights on supply levels and price, iProcure ensures the availability, quality, and delivery of critical agricultural inputs like fertilizers and seeds at up to 25 per cent discount from prevailing market prices.
The US$10.2 million Series B round, a mixture of debt and equity, was led by Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) and also saw participation from Novastar Ventures, British International Investment (BII), and Ceniarth.
“In addition to bolstering our existing operations with more warehouses and delivery vehicles, this funding will expand iProcure’s product offering to include credit services and a new POS system for agro-dealers to better forecast their inventory needs and reduce pilferage within their shops. This will help our 5,000 partner retailers increase their earnings and better serve the hundreds of thousands of farmers that depend on each shop,” said Niraj Varia, iProcure’s new CEO and former partner at Novastar Ventures.
Asif Noorani, senior investment manager of impact investing at I&P, said iProcure was playing a pivotal role in transforming the agricultural sector in Africa by digitising the agro-retailer networks and making last-mile agricultural inputs distribution more efficient.
“At its core, iProcure is improving farmers’ access to genuine and affordable agricultural inputs by consolidating the region’s fragmented agricultural inputs sector. These processes ultimately lower the cost of food production and improve food security,” he said.
Abel Boreto, associate investment director at Novastar Ventures, said iProcure had grown 23X in the five years since Novastar invested.
“This speaks to the demand for its services, which now reach over 1,000,000 Kenyan farmers. Novastar remains a stalwart supporter of iProcure’s growth and market entry into Tanzania and Uganda where they will no doubt bring immense value to the agricultural sector there,” he said.