Agro-retailers can now purchase supplies on credit thanks to a new credit offering from Kenyan startup iProcure, a tech and data-driven supplier of agricultural inputs. The company also announced the close of a US $10.2 million Series B funding round to support its expansion into Tanzania and Uganda.
iProcure, which was introduced in 2013, has built its own distribution infrastructure and uses it to link significant agricultural input suppliers with nearby agro-dealers directly.
iProcure ensures the availability, quality, and delivery of crucial agricultural inputs like fertilizers and seeds at up to 25% off of current market prices by eliminating the multiple levels of middlemen in the traditional agricultural supply chain and offering technology-driven insights on supply levels and price.
The US $10.2 million Series B investment, which included a combination of loan and equity, was co-led by Novastar Ventures, British International Investment (BII), and Ceniarth. Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) served as the round’s lead investor.
“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,” said Niraj Varia, iProcure’s new CEO and former partner at Novastar Ventures.
By digitising the agro-retailer networks and improving the efficiency of the last-mile agricultural input distribution, Asif Noorani, senior investment manager of impact investing at I&P, claimed that iProcure was playing a crucial part in the transformation of the agricultural sector in Africa.
“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,” he said.
iProcure has expanded 23X in the five years after Novastar Ventures invested, according to Abel Boreto, assistant investment director.
“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,” he said.