After raising $47.5m from the Rise Fund, a global impact investing fund managed by growth equity platform TPG Growth, Cellulant, says the investment will help scale its blockchain-based platform Agrikore.Agrikore is a mobile blockchain-based platform that has served more than 7 million farmers across the continent, better connecting them to the market and helping them sell their goods to a diverse range of buyers more easily.
The platform also expands access to government subsidy programmes to help reduce costs for farmers, increase their yields, and raise incomes.
Agrikore also known as eWallet system provides a comprehensive system consisting of the technology, business processes, and a systematic organization for players in Agriculture in Africa to help them de-risk and increase investor participation on a large scale.
According to the company, normally, a potential Agriculture financier is unable to incentivize production and processing and marketing but the platform enables them to provide the needed liquidity either as a loan or grant then give them access and ability to monitor, and ensure the application of the financial input.
“With Agrikore, the financier is insulated from the intricate system consisting of farmers, aggregators, off-takers, agro-dealers, insurers, and commodity buyers that create value in the form of produce etc from agricultural inputs because the technology provides the transparency, integrity & immutability that grows the confidence of remote actors in the system,” the firm announced.
A farmer’s produce therefore serves as its own collateral, and a set system of insurance and inspection ensures that the flow of inputs and its conversion to produce is seriously de-risked compared to farmers without such a platform. Cellulant says the Agrikore is built and operated on the Agrikore blockchain platform facilitating transparency of all transactions, safety of records and confidentiality of all transactions and traders over smart contracts.
Agrikore facilitates loan disbursement, administration, and repayment, produce delivery, storage contracts, and ware-housing, and grants and subsidy distribution among others.
“With this new capital and as part of our scaling up strategy, we are leveraging on the growing mobile penetration trend in Africa to broaden our reach and extend our payments ecosystem across the continent. We are scaling up our existing payments products in the agriculture sector, digital banking and internet payments; as well as introducing consumer-focused products to complement the enterprise products we already have. This will allow us to increase access to payments for the millions of Africans who are still unbanked, despite the financial inclusion revolution,” added Bolaji Akinboro, Cellulant co-founder and CEO of Cellulant Nigeria.
Present across 11 African markets, including: Zambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, and Liberia, Cellulant occupies a unique position in the fintech ecosystem in Africa, with the potential to offer increased access, savings, and income to tens of millions of users across the continent, according to Yemi Lalude, Managing Partner for TPG in Africa.