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Complete Farmer raises $10.4m to shake up African agriculture

Desmond Koney, CEO of Complete Farmer, stands confidently as the driving force behind the $10.4 million funding success. Photo: Supplied
Desmond Koney, CEO of Complete Farmer, stands confidently as the driving force behind the $10.4 million funding success. Photo: Supplied

In a significant milestone for African agriculture, Complete Farmer, a Ghanaian agritech start-up, has raised $10.4 million in a Pre-Series A funding round. The funds, a combination of equity and debt financing, will be instrumental in driving the company’s ambitious expansion plans and furthering its mission to revolutionise Africa’s agricultural value chain.

The equity portion of the funding round was co-led by the Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) and Alitheia Capital via its uMunthu II Fund, in partnership with Goodwell Investments.

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These seasoned investors were joined by Proparco, Newton Partners, and VestedWorld Rising Star Fund. Debt financing was provided by Sahel Capital’s SEFAA (Social Enterprise Fund for Agriculture in Africa) Fund, Alpha Mundi Group through its Alpha Jiri Investment Fund, and Global Social Impact Investments.

Complete Farmer, founded in 2017 and launched on TechCrunch’s Battlefield Africa stage in 2018, has made remarkable strides in connecting African farmers with global markets, resources, and data.

The platform currently offers two primary solutions: CF Grower, tailored for farmers, and CF Buyer, serving global buyers. CF Grower helps African farmers optimise productivity, access global markets, and improve their livelihoods through precision farming tools and data-driven cultivation protocols. Meanwhile, CF Buyer provides buyers with access to a network of qualified growers, quality-certified crops, and transparent order monitoring.

Agriculture plays a pivotal role in sub-Saharan Africa’s economy, contributing approximately 23% to the region’s GDP and employing the majority of the population, with smallholder farmers making up 60% of the workforce.

Despite this, the sector faces numerous supply chain and infrastructure challenges that hinder its full participation in global supply chains. Complete Farmer aims to address these issues by building technological and physical infrastructure to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of African agriculture.

Desmond Koney, CEO of Complete Farmer, expressed his excitement about the company’s mission and its new partners, stating, “At Complete Farmer, we are on a mission to revolutionise Africa’s agriculture value chain, to ensure competitiveness for all stakeholders involved. It is a pleasure to have partners who share our belief in Complete Farmer’s potential impact on sustainable food production and food security in Africa and the rest of the world.”

The Complete Farmer team celebrates their funding milestone, ready to revolutionise African agriculture. Photo: Supplied

The $10.4 million raised in this funding round will be allocated strategically to expand Complete Farmer’s domestic operations and enter new African markets. This expansion will provide more farmers with access to quality inputs, technical expertise, and market opportunities. Additionally, the funds will be used to enhance the digital platform, further research into data-driven farming protocols, and build key partnerships in the agriculture and technology sectors.

Tamer El-Raghy, managing director of ARAF, praised Complete Farmer’s work in facilitating access to global trade for Ghanaian farmers and introducing sustainable farming practices.

He stated, “Our goal at ARAF is to invest and grow local enterprises that support smallholder farmers in building resilience to climate change. Complete Farmer’s technology platform and farming protocols enable farmers to access quality inputs, agronomical support, and premium markets, resulting in improved yields and income.”

Tokunboh Ishmael, managing partner at Alitheia Capital, emphasised the significance of Complete Farmer’s role in fortifying the African agricultural value chain and bolstering export prospects, stating that the platform connects local farmers and their products with global markets and financial resources, leading to increased incomes for farmers and an overall enhancement of global trade dynamics.

Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), sees the value in Complete Farmer’s innovative approach. Sadio Dicko, Proparco’s deputy regional director for West Africa, commented, “This investment, alongside other Proparco’s partners, will provide Complete Farmer with additional resources to both improve its digital infrastructure and tap into new markets for the benefit of the African agriculture sector.”

With its latest funding injection, Complete Farmer is well-positioned to continue transforming African agriculture and contributing to food security, economic growth, and sustainability on the continent. The company’s innovative solutions and commitment to smallholder farmers mark a promising step toward a brighter future for African agriculture.

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