Farmcrowdy, Nigeria’s first and leading digital agriculture platform, which allows Nigerians to venture in and sponsor agriculture, has announced that it had closed on seed funding of $1million from international and local investors.
These investors include 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.
According to the company, the seed fund will allow it to scale its operations with plans to expand into a combined 20 states in Nigeria, work with 4,000 additional small-scale farmers. This will also enable it engage a combined 20,000 new farm followers and farm sponsors on its platform to learn about the opportunities in Agriculture and partner with farmers.
Launched just over 12 months ago, Farmcrowdy, the only African start-up from Techstars Atlanta’s 2017 cohort, connects small scale farmers with sponsors, who invest in farm cycles. A farm cycle can be anything from poultry (three-five months) to cassava (nine months).
The farmers receive on-the-ground advice from Farmcrowdy’s Technical Field Specialists, who also give them training in better agriculture practices and provide them with quality farm input.
Prior to harvest, Farmcrowdy works with pre-arranged buyers, who assist the farmers sell their yield at harvest, and earn a decent margin.
The sponsor then gets their original sponsorship +40% of the profit from the harvest, the farmer receives 40% of the profit and Farmcrowdy receives 20% of the profit. Farm sponsors can get between 6-25% returns after harvest depending on the farm type they sponsor.
Co-Founder and CEO of Farmcrowdy, Onyeka Akumah, said: “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 start-up 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 with real farmers and appreciate agriculture practice first-hand through regular updates, images and videos from the farms.
According to Cody Simms, Partner, Techstars Ventures, “Onyeka Akumah and the Farmcrowdy team are changing the global dynamics of farming and agriculture. Techstars is proud and honoured 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.”
Cox Enterprises Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Investments, Duncan O’Brien, added, “From the moment we encountered Farmcrowdy, we were very impressed with the work that the start-up 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.”