iProcure, an African data-driven agri-tech startup with the mission to lower the cost of production for farmers, has raised $10.2 million in Series B funding. It comprises debt and equity from a diverse group of international investors led by Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P). It also saw participation from Novastar Ventures, British International Investment (BII), and Ceniarth.
Credit offering for agro-retailers
The funding will support iProcure’s expansion into Uganda and Tanzania, as well as the launch of a credit offering for agro-retailers to purchase supplies on credit.
Niraj Varia, iProcure’s new CEO and former partner at iProcure key investor, Novastar Ventures, said, “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.”
Asif Noorani, Senior Investment Manager of Impact Investing at I&P, said “iProcure is 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.”
Abel Boreto, Associate Investment Director at Novastar Ventures, added “iProcure has 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.”
Sara Taylor, Head of SME Funds at British International Investment said “iProcure solves the problem of connecting smallholder farmers with the right inputs at the right time. BII is excited to partner with iProcure to help build a more inclusive, resilient, and efficient supply chain for agricultural inputs in Africa
Revolutionises agricultural supply chains
iProcure was founded in Kenya by Stefano Carcoforo and Nicole Galletta in 2013. Currently, it is the largest agricultural supply chain platform in rural Africa. In addition to complete procurement and last mile distribution services, the company provides business intelligence and data-driven stock management across the supply chains.
iProcure has revolutionised traditional agricultural supply chains in East Africa by developing 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 fertilisers and seeds at up to 25% discount from prevailing market prices.
iProcure lowers food costs and lessens the climate impact of agriculture by ensuring smallholder farmers can plant their crops on time and achieve higher crop yields while using less land.