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Kenyan tech startup iProcure has recently secured investment from Invested Development (ID) — a global early stage impact investment fund manager. The startup helps farmers access high-quality products using a software that enhances retailers’ agricultural sales and inventory management.
This move from ID comes from its BSP Fund which invests in ICT, alternative energy, and agricultural tech solutions for underserved markets. 33 million smallholder farms in sub-Saharan Africa produce 80% of the subcontinent’s food. Having said that, many farmers are forced to rely on an inefficient, sparsely distributed network of “agro-vets”, or agriculture retail shops, to supply their inputs including seeds, fertilizer, and feed.
Using its plug-and-play last mile distribution platform, the software (which is also catered for mobile phones) lets agricultural retailers manage their orders based on a bunch of deferential factors. These include their inventory status, point-of-sale activities, individual client profiles, geo-located purchasing patterns, real-time agent performance, and built-in mobile payments.
As a result, retailers can better predict demand with business intelligence data, improve inventory management, and streamline distribution efficiency. So far, the company has connected wholesalers and distributors to more than 5000 small retail outlets all over Kenya.
By 2050, Africa’s population is expected to double. To keep up with this demand, and the Africa-could-feed-itself-and-the-world narrative, smallholder farmers will need to generate more produce.
iProcure joins ID’s BSP Fund portfolio of sixteen companies across eight countries, which are all committed to using technology to overcome the world’s greatest challenges.