On March 21, 2022, Kenyan Agritech Apollo raised US $40 million in a Softbank-led round that included the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and CDC.
Apollo Agriculture, a Kenya-based Agritech that connects farmers to high-quality farm inputs, financing, and markets, wants to triple the number of farmers it serves by the end of 2022 and introduce new products that deliver greater value per acre of land. This comes after the company received US$ 40 million in Series B funding from Softbank Vision Fund 2.
What the founders have to say:
Apollo Agriculture co-founder and CEO Eli Pollak said, “We are continuing to invest in multiplying; serving more farmers, helping them grow their acreage, and hitting the acceleration on the business.” As a result, there will be a sustained expansion in Kenya and expansion into other markets.”
The agricultural technology company is looking for new business prospects in East and West Africa.
“We’re also working on goods that provide more value per acre.” That may be new crops that allow customers to generate more money,” Pollak, who co-founded Apollo with Benjamin Njenga and Earl St Sauver, explained.
What the investors have to say:
SoftBank Investment investment director, AdvisersAlexia Yannopoulos:
“Feeding the world is one of the most serious concerns facing society in the context of persistent socioeconomic and geopolitical instability. Apollo’s platform serves as a one-stop-shop for small-scale farmers in emerging markets looking to increase crop and livestock production. Valuable financial services such as finance, insurance, and consulting must be incorporated into the supply chain to create a more efficient and sustainable global food chain.”
Apollo assesses a farmer’s creditworthiness using satellite photography data and artificial intelligence. It intends to use the new funds to improve its technology and provide farmers with more products and services. The firm, founded in 2016, works with a network of agents to attract farmers and retailers to its platform.
Apollo had worked with 100,000 farmers by the end of last year, with intentions to double that number by the end of this year. It operates a nationwide network of “over a thousand” merchants and 5,000 agents.
According to Pollak, Apollo has grown tenfold since the close of a US$ 6 million series A in 2020, thanks to product financing.
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