Connect with us

Tech

Ghanaian Agri-tech startup, Farmerline, seals $12.9m pre-Series A funding

Published

on

A Ghanaian Agri-tech startup, Farmerline, has secured a $6.4m pre-Series A investment funding, plus another $6.5m in debt financing to help it expand.

The funding is Farmerline’s first raised equity since launching with a $600 grant almost a decade ago.

Lenders of the $6.5 million debt financing include DEG, Rabobank, Ceniarth, Rippleworks, Mulago Foundation, Whole Planet Foundation, Netri Foundation and Kiva.

The firm which prides itself as the “Amazon for African farmers”, was launched in 2013 by the duo of Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu Addai, and partners with agri-businesses and farm associations to support farmers across the African continent with high-quality fertiliser and seeds, free education on climate-smart farming practices, and an access to international markets.

According to Attah, the Farmerline marketplace combines digital tools with logistics, field agents, farm resources and strategic partnerships, while the company’s in-house technology platform, Mergdata, is “licensed by global food traders and manufacturers who use its customisable tools to improve the lives of farmers around the world.”

“To date, Farmerline has digitised over one million farmers through partnerships across 26 countries, and with the new funding on board, it is planning greater scale,” Attah said.

“At the peak of the pandemic, local agricultural SMEs played a vital role in ensuring food security, supporting farmers, supplying agricultural inputs, and distributing to final consumers.

“With this new investment, we will scale the AI capabilities within Farmerline’s Mergdata platform to help increase the income of farmers and agri-businesses, supporting them to access farm inputs, supplying them with assets such as tricycles, tractors and threshers, and connecting them to global markets,” he added.

“Farmerline’s goal has always been to create lasting wealth for farmers and their communities. To do that at scale, we’re expanding our operations across regions and are actively on the lookout for the best talent to help build an efficient supply chain that saves money for agribusinesses, reduces the cost of farming and the time it takes for people to get services to rural areas.

“We must ensure that local agribusinesses grow because when they do, we all succeed,” his partner, Addai said.

Tech

Applications open for 2024 Africa’s Business Heroes competition

Published

on

Applications are now open for the 2024 cohort of the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition in continuation of its sixth annual continental search for 10 entrepreneurs who strive to make a positive impact in their local communities.

Zahra Baitie, Head of Partnerships & Programs, Africa’s Business Heroes, who made the announcement, said since its inception in 2019, ABH had spotlighted and supported some of Africa’s brightest entrepreneurial minds, noting that this year’s edition would be no different.

In a statement on Monday, Baitie noted that the ABH top 10 finalists also known as “Heroes” have, over the last five years, created 123,000 direct and indirect jobs in Africa, while serving over 37.5 million customers in Africa and beyond and have raised over $153 million.

“As ABH enters its sixth year, it is calling on entrepreneurs across Africa to pitch on the biggest entrepreneurial stage in the continent,” he said.

Applications are open to entrepreneurs from all 54 countries, from all business sectors, of all ages and genders.

“Along with invaluable benefits such as training, exposure and networking opportunities, the top 10 finalists will also compete for their share of $1.5 million in grant money.

“Over the past five years, we’ve had the privilege of witnessing the incredible growth of our Heroes. Many of our Heroes have leveraged the grant funds to expand their geographic footprint, hire talent, grow their operations and invest in new products and services.

”It’s been heart-warming to see our Heroes collaborate with each other and to tap into the ABH network of judges and experts.

“We are motivated to continue to play our part in supporting the African entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are calling on all eligible African entrepreneurs who are creating positive impact to join us in this journey!”

Baitie added that applications for the ABH 2024 are open from until May 19, with the top 50 finalists to be announced in July.

The final winners will be unveiled at the Grand Finale in November, Baitie concluded.

Continue Reading

Tech

MainOne lands optic submarine cable in Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom State

Published

on

Data centre and connectivity solutions provider, MainOne, has landed Africa’s first ever
optic submarine cable in Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom State.

MainOne, a subsidiary of Equinix Company, announced the feat of the first and only submarine cable system in Nigeria outside of Lagos.

According to the Regional Business Head at MainOne, Abayomi Adebanjo, the collaboration between the company and the state marks a significant “milestone in enhancing broadband connectivity and driving economic development in the South-South, South-East and North-Central regions of Nigeria.”

The optic cable known as 2Africa, Adebanjo said, spans 45,000km in length and will be one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects which will interconnect Europe, Asia, and Africa, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps.

“The significance of 2Africa lies in its capacity to address critical internet needs and enhance reliability across vast expanses of Africa,” he said.

“Furthermore, 2Africa serves as a catalyst for the advancement of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband accessibility, extending its impact to billions of people.

“With a commitment to consistently deploy financial capital and project resources towards infrastructure investments, MainOne is dedicated to improving internet capacity and driving various aspects of development, including economic growth, digital transformation, healthcare, security, agriculture, and increased state revenue in South-South Nigeria.

“Akwa Ibom’s selection as a landing site underscores its strategic importance in Nigeria’s digital transformation journey and by offering cable diversity and resiliency, 2Africa contributes significantly to the country’s digital infrastructure resilience and MainOne’s role as the landing partner solidifies this endeavour,” he stated.

He added that MainOne will facilitate the establishment of a terrestrial metro fiber network in the state and the entire South-South Nigeria, seamlessly connecting enterprises and people in the region to the submarine cable system.

“By hosting the submarine cable system landing and the fiber cable interconnection, Akwa Ibom State, the South-South Region and Nigeria will unlock numerous economic and social benefits, fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation, and improved public service delivery,” Adebanjo said.

Continue Reading

EDITOR’S PICK

VenturesNow1 hour ago

Nigeria: Antigraft agency EFCC says 70% of financial crimes traceable to banks

Banks are implicated in about 70% of financial crimes in Nigeria, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)....

VenturesNow1 hour ago

Energy, rental expenses lower Airtel Uganda’s pre-tax profit in 2023

Telecom company, Airtel Uganda, reported on Monday that a rise in energy and rental expenses was behind a 9.8% decrease...

VenturesNow2 hours ago

Ghana’s finance ministry warns anti-LGBTQ bill could frustrate IMF support 

According to a finance ministry document quoted by Reuters on Monday, Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ measure may cause the country to lose...

Tech17 hours ago

Applications open for 2024 Africa’s Business Heroes competition

Applications are now open for the 2024 cohort of the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition in continuation of its...

Sports18 hours ago

Nigerian keeper Nwabali becomes beautiful bride as English, Saudi clubs battle for him

Super Eagles and Chippa United of South Africa goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, has become a hot property as he is attracting...

Metro18 hours ago

Zambian opposition party LM demands sack of Agric Minister

One of Zambia’s opposition parties, Leadership Movement (LM), has called for the immediate dismissal of the country’s Minister of Agriculture,...

Culture18 hours ago

Ghanaian chef fails to break cook-a-thon world record

An attempt by celebrity Ghanaian chef, Failatu Abdul-Razak, to break the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon by...

VenturesNow21 hours ago

Nigerian centra bank’s N1trn OMO bills oversubscribed

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued N1.053 trillion (680 million dollars) in short-term instruments in the recently concluded...

Metro24 hours ago

Fuel subsidy removal, a blessing to Nigeria, govt insists

Despite the excruciating hardship and hunger resulting from the unplanned removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu as well...

Behind the News2 days ago

Behind the News: All the backstories to our major news this week

Over the past week, there were lots of important stories from around the African continent, and we served you some...

Trending