Nigeria's AgriTech startup, Farmcrowdy, has closed a $1 million seed funding round. Farmcrowdy's seed funding round saw participation from investors such as 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.
Earlier in 2017 Farmcrowdy announced the launch of their new mobile app, available for Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices, for funding small-scale farmers.
“Today’s seed announcement is a remarkable milestone for us and Nigeria’s Agritech industry as a whole - especially having just celebrated the anniversary of our first year of operations in November 2017. 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,” said Onyeka Akumah, Co-Founder and CEO at Farmcrowdy.
Farmcrowdy uses their online platform to source funds from sponsors, whose money is then used to secure land, plant crops and meet the funding needs of boosting food production with small-scale farmers in Nigeria. According to the startup, sponsors can expect to see returns after harvest of 6-25% between a 3-9 month period, depending on what farm type they choose to fund. Farmcrowdy has to-date recorded close to 1,000 unique farm sponsors from Nigerians in Nigeria, the US and UK. The company has aggregated a combined 4,000 acres of farmland across 8 states in Nigeria and worked with more than 2,000 small scale farmers.
“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.
According to the Nigerian startup, the seed funding will allow them to scale their operations as they plan to expand into a combined 20 states across Nigeria, work with 4,000 additional small-scale farmers and engage a combined 20,000 new farm followers and farm sponsors on it’s platform to learn about the opportunities in Agriculture and partner with farmers.
“From the moment we encountered Farmcrowdy, we were very impressed with the work that the startup is doing to empower Nigeria’s farmers. As our planet faces drastic population growth and manages scarce resources, investing in sustainable agriculture is a venture that will reap long-term benefits for us all,” said Duncan Obrien, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Investments at Cox Enterprises.