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

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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.

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Kenyan music streaming platform, Mdundo, reports 290% user growth since 2020 IPO

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Foremost Kenyan music streaming platform, Mdundo, says it has recorded a whopping 290 percent user growth which has taken it to a 20 million mark since going public in 2020.

Mdundo which was launched in 2023, provides access to the continent’s hottest music to users in 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with millions monthly downloads and streams via its website and app.

According to Disrupt Africa, the company got listed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market Denmark in 2020 following an over-subscribed pre-sale period that raised $6.4 million at the time in a bid to solidify its leading position in the pan-African music market.

Since then, it has grown the number of monthly active users by 290 percent from five million to almost 20 million, with revenue growing by approximately 340 percent over the same period.

Mdundo CEO Martin Nielsen, in a statement on Thursday, said the platform is also planning to focus more deeply on the five biggest music markets in Sub-Saharan Africa which include Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.

“Our growth strategy in the last two years has paid off with strong user growth and consistent revenue growth across our core markets. Looking forward towards 2025, we will continue focusing on aggressive growth in users and revenue but with an increased focus on driving value per user and we expect a positive EBITDA by 2025,” Nielsen said.

“Our focus will remain on user and revenue growth and we expect to grow our revenues by approximately 100 per cent from this year to the year ending June 2023,” he added.

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Nigerian fintech, Moove, secures $20 million credit from British International Investment

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Nigerian mobility fintech startup, Moove has made significant moves with its capital as it has secured a $20 million four-year structured credit.

The tech company received the credit from the British International Investment (BII), the UK government’s development finance institution.

The investment was announced at a business reception in Lagos co-hosted by the British high commissioner in Nigeria.

“BII forms an important part of the UK’s package of tools and expertise to help Nigeria build their pipeline for investment and scale up infrastructure investment, in particular to achieve clean, green growth. The launch of BII marks a continuation of this partnership, and we look forward to seeing BII’s support expand and diversify in Nigeria.”  Catriona Laing said.

BII’s Chief Executive Officer, Nick O’Donohoe, while speaking on the rationale behind the move said “in Moove, BII has a partner that aligns with our commitment to back dynamic tech-enabled businesses that can help accelerate impact in Nigeria by strengthening the country’s informal transport industry.”

“I am delighted that not only will BII’s investment help to create jobs and provide entrepreneurial self-starters with the means to own their vehicles, but Moove’s clear focus on gender diversity will foster inclusive economic opportunities for women, both within the company’s workforce and among its drivers.” O’Donohoe concluded.

Moove, according to information on its official website, was founded in response to the challenge faced by over 2 million African mobility entrepreneurs – the lack of access to vehicle financing. It was initially built to solve this problem in Lagos and has since expanded to 6 cities across Africa.

Moove raised $23 million in 2021 to scale rapidly across the continent.

The tech company is raising its revenue-based financing model globally to serve the millions of mobility entrepreneurs in emerging markets around the world who have limited or no access to a vehicle or vehicle financing.

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