Emata, an agri-loans startup in Uganda, has raised US $2.4 million in a seed funding round to broaden its service area throughout East Africa.
Emata provides automated loans to farmers in order to address the lack of agricultural financing in East Africa. As a result, smallholders can now receive loans at rates that are 5 times more affordable than the unofficial loans they have typically relied on in the past. The startup has completely digitalized the lending process and is integrated into the agricultural value chain thanks to its partnerships with cooperatives and farmer-based organizations.
Marcus Boström, a Swedish angel investor, Norrsken Accelerator, Zephyr Acorn, African Renaissance Partners, and the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation all contributed to the US $2.4 million raise, which is made up of US $800,000 in equity and US $1.6 million in on-lending capital.
As a multi-crop company from the beginning, Emata’s other operations are oilseeds and maize, while expansion is also anticipated into potatoes. Proceeds will be used to expand Emata’s agri-loan offering across East Africa, both within its debut market of Uganda and via imminent international expansion, most likely in Tanzania. It will focus on scaling its core markets – dairy and coffee.
“We are thrilled to complete our US $2.4 million seed fundraise, backed by high-profile, impact-oriented investors who recognise the huge potential of digital agri-loans in East Africa, and beyond. Emata dares farmers to dream big and eliminates traditional obstacles that have made agricultural finance unavailable for the vast majority. Our solution turns a lifelong struggle into a five-minute process, and is already tangibly impacting thousands of East African farmers,” said Bram van den Bosch, founder and CEO of Emata.