Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Agritech Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2023 showcases the startups making significant strides in revolutionizing the agricultural sector. The listed companies, utilizing advanced technologies such as AI, blockchain, and IoT, are solving complex agricultural challenges, improving food security, and boosting local economies. Their innovative solutions range from smart farming systems, data-driven supply chain optimization to platforms that connect smallholder farmers with profitable markets. This prestigious list not only applauds the impact of these startups on agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa but also highlights their potential for future growth and contribution to global food systems.
Apollo Agriculture (Kenya): Empowering Small-scale Farmers
With roots firmly planted in Africa’s fertile agritech ecosystem, Apollo Agriculture stands tall as a beacon of innovation and progress. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and founded in 2016 by a forward-thinking team of seasoned entrepreneurs and technologists, Apollo Agriculture has swiftly evolved into a formidable force in the field of agritech startups. Leveraging cutting-edge technology to empower small-scale farmers, Apollo Agriculture takes its rightful place in Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Agritech Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2023.
The value proposition of Apollo Agriculture lies in its triad of offerings: financing, inputs, and advisory services, uniquely designed to foster growth and prosperity in the small-scale farming sector. Apollo presents an avenue for farmers to access necessary financing for purchasing quality agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, and pesticides. An online application process facilitated through their local agrodealer simplifies this financing procedure.
In the realm of inputs, Apollo takes a hands-on approach by sourcing only the best agricultural elements from trusted suppliers, hand-delivering them to the farmers. But their involvement does not end there. The company takes it a step further by imparting training on how to effectively utilize these inputs, ensuring that no resource goes to waste.
Advisory services constitute the third pillar of Apollo’s offerings. Their farmers benefit from advice on an array of subjects, from crop management to pest and disease control, and market access. It’s a holistic approach that ensures farmers are not just equipped but informed and ready to tackle their agricultural challenges head-on.
The innovative technology platform developed by Apollo Agriculture proves instrumental in scaling operations while optimizing the experience for farmers. An intuitive mobile app acts as a portal for farmers to apply for financing, keep track of their orders, and access valuable training materials.
Furthermore, Apollo Agriculture underscores its commitment to making a social impact. A lofty mission to “unlock the potential of small-scale farmers” and “ensure food security for a growing global population” drives the company. By equipping farmers with the financial means, inputs, and advisory services, they believe in the power to enhance yields, bolster incomes, and build more sustainable businesses.
With backing from high-profile investors such as SoftBank Vision Fund 2, The Rise Fund, and Temasek, Apollo Agriculture has raised over $1 billion in funding. The company currently operates in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda, serving over 1 million farmers and increasing their yields by an average of 30%. Moreover, Apollo Agriculture demonstrates a profound commitment to gender equality, evidenced by its female-led sales team.
Apollo Agriculture’s integration of financial services, agricultural inputs, and advisory services has positioned it as a top-tier provider for small-scale farmers in Africa. The company’s technology platform, coupled with its strong social impact focus, makes it a critical resource for farmers aiming to enhance yields, increase incomes, and build more sustainable businesses. Apollo Agriculture, indeed, sows seeds of growth and reaps success in Africa’s agritech landscape.
Hello Tractor (Kenya): Revolutionizing Farming with Technology
Breaking new ground in the realm of agritech, Hello Tractor has earned a noteworthy spot on Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Agritech Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2023. This dynamic startup, with its unique business model, has innovatively harnessed technology to connect smallholder farmers and tractor owners, bringing mechanized farming within reach of those who need it most.
Established in 2014 by Jehiel Oliver, Folu Okunade, and Keith Bradach, Hello Tractor, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, has emerged as a trusted platform for booking tractors on-demand. Its service portfolio extends to the tracking of tractors, payment for services, and the provision of financing options for farmers requiring assistance in purchasing tractors. Its reach isn’t limited to Kenya alone, with offices strategically located in Nigeria and the United States.
Backed by impressive investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and TracInvest, Hello Tractor has raised over $50 million in funding. Driven by the mission to “democratize access to agricultural mechanization in sub-Saharan Africa”, the company is redefining the future of farming in a region where more than 60% of farms rely on human power and less than 20% on machinery.
Hello Tractor’s robust platform is a game-changer for over a million farmers across 10 countries, helping to create over 10,000 jobs in the agricultural sector. World Economic Forum and Clinton Global Initiative are among the numerous organizations that have lauded its significant contributions.
Hello Tractor’s suite of services is a blend of functionality and convenience. Farmers can effortlessly book tractors, keep tabs on their progress, and complete payments through diverse methods like cash, mobile money, and credit. The platform’s data analytics capabilities collect essential data on tractor usage and farmer demand, streamlining the process and boosting efficiency. Moreover, the company extends support to farmers and tractor owners through technical assistance, customer service, and training.
As an embodiment of technology-meets-agriculture, Hello Tractor has paved the way for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa to access affordable tractors, a previously elusive asset. In doing so, it stands to bolster food security and spur economic development in the region. Hello Tractor serves as a testament to the transformative power of innovation, illustrating how modern technology can elevate traditional sectors into more efficient and sustainable enterprises.
OKO Finance (Mali): Insuring Farmers’ Future
In the ever-evolving agritech landscape, OKO Finance emerges as a distinguished player that aims to protect the financial future of smallholder farmers in emerging markets. Featured in Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Agritech Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2023, OKO brings affordable crop insurance within reach of farmers, bolstering their resilience against unpredictable weather events.
Founded in 2018 by Simon Schwall and Nicolas Martin, OKO Finance leverages cutting-edge technology in its operations. The founders’ diverse experiences, with Schwall’s background in microfinance and risk management, and Martin’s proficiency in developing mobile applications, have shaped the company into a force to be reckoned with in the agritech sector. With headquarters in Bamako, Mali, OKO is already making waves in Mali, Uganda, and Côte d’Ivoire, with expansion plans on the horizon.
Backed by influential investors such as Allianz, Orange, and the GSMA, OKO has successfully raised over $2 million in funding. It has gained recognition from esteemed organizations like the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) and the Techstars accelerator program, testament to its innovative approach and impact.
OKO’s primary offering is crop insurance, meticulously designed to shield farmers from the financial impact of devastating weather events such as droughts and floods. The cornerstone of OKO’s uniqueness lies in its affordable and user-friendly approach. Farmers can effortlessly purchase insurance via OKO’s mobile app or through a network of partner agents.
Harnessing the power of satellite imagery and weather data, OKO has revolutionized claim management. This technology-led approach facilitates swift and efficient processing of claims, leading to lower insurance costs for farmers and timely payouts when needed.
Committed to battling poverty and food insecurity, OKO envisions crop insurance as a tool to uplift smallholder farmers in emerging markets. As a champion of affordable and accessible insurance, OKO Finance is changing the face of agricultural risk management, ensuring that farmers can sow their seeds today with confidence about tomorrow.
Victory Farms (Kenya): Nurturing Sustainable Aquaculture
Victory Farms is revolutionizing aquaculture in East Africa. As the largest producer of fish in the region, this Kenyan startup is on a mission to nourish two billion Africans over the next two decades. Recognized in Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Agritech Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2023, the company is a testament to the transformative power of sustainable practices in agriculture.
Founded in 2016 by Joe and Steve in the tranquil setting of rural Roo, Homa Bay, Kenya, Victory Farms began its journey with a handful of cages and the helping hands of the Homa Bay County community. The company now flourishes as a beacon of sustainable aquaculture, operating an environmentally-friendly model that seeks to preserve the delicate ecosystem of the lake.
Victory Farms employs cage aquaculture, a practice that mitigates overfishing and facilitates the lake’s natural recovery. Complementing this eco-conscious approach, the company is also on a mission to plant a million indigenous trees, further underlining its commitment to environmental preservation.
The company’s key product is fresh, Kenyan tilapia, a lean white meat that serves as a healthier alternative to red meat. Available at Victory Farms’ daily open branches, this locally produced tilapia provides an essential source of protein for communities across the region.
The impact of Victory Farms goes beyond the aquaculture sector. The company has raised more than 10 million tilapia fish, generated over 1,000 jobs, and fostered partnerships with over 100 local farmers. Moreover, Victory Farms has donated over a million meals to local communities, embodying the principles of social responsibility.
Victory Farms stands at the forefront of the sustainable aquaculture movement, showing how eco-friendly practices can help feed a growing population. With its dedication to sustainable growth and community welfare, Victory Farms is carving out a prosperous and sustainable future for Kenyan aquaculture.
Livestock Wealth (South Africa): Revolutionizing Farm Asset Investments
South African company Livestock Wealth is transforming how individuals invest in farm assets. Launched in 2015 by Ntuthuko Shezi, Livestock Wealth has redefined the investment landscape by providing opportunities for people to directly invest in tangible, profit-generating farm assets. Recognized in Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Agritech Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2023, Livestock Wealth offers a novel approach to supporting agricultural growth and wealth creation.
Serving as a bridge between farmers and investors, Livestock Wealth provides vital capital for farmers, while giving investors the opportunity to partake in the financial benefits of farming operations. With this unique model, the company has facilitated investments amounting to over R70 million from over 2,800 investors, resulting in payouts exceeding R10 million in profits.
Livestock Wealth’s investment portfolio is diverse and tangible. Investors can place their capital in individual animals or entire herds, choosing from a variety of livestock including cattle, pigs, chickens, and dairy cows. The investment process is flexible, starting from as low as R1,000 and allowing periods of 12, 24, or 36 months.
As a registered credit provider and a Financial Services Provider, Livestock Wealth operates under the regulatory guidance of the National Credit Regulator, the Financial Services Conduct Authority, and the Agriculture Producer Agents’ Council. Moreover, its status as an agricultural producer agent registered with SAMAC (Macadamias South Africa NPC) further substantiates its commitment to ethical and responsible investment practices.
With features in prominent media outlets like Carte Blanche, BBC, CNN, SABC, TEDx, and Times Live, Livestock Wealth’s innovative approach to investing in agriculture has earned global recognition.
In essence, Livestock Wealth is democratizing investment in farming assets, presenting an opportunity for individuals to directly contribute to and benefit from the growth of the agricultural sector.
Nile.ag (South Africa): Revolutionizing Fresh Produce Trade
Nile.ag, a burgeoning B2B e-commerce platform based in Centurion, South Africa, is making waves in the agribusiness sector. Founded in 2019 by a dynamic team of entrepreneurial visionaries, the platform is transforming how fresh produce farmers connect with commercial buyers across Africa. The firm, which has so far raised over $5 million in funding from investors such as Platform Investment Partners and Base Capital Partners, is prominently featured in Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Agritech Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2023.
The Nile.ag platform delivers a win-win solution for both parties in the trading process. For commercial buyers, it presents an opportunity to view live inventory, discover prevailing market prices, and place instant orders from multiple sellers across Africa. These transactions are made in a secure environment with the added advantage of quality verification services for products purchased.
Farmers, on the other hand, benefit from transparent pricing, improved cash flow, and elimination of intermediaries, increasing their profitability.
Key features of Nile.ag include direct trading between buyers and sellers, secure transaction handling, stringent quality verification processes, and a broad selection of fresh produce. Currently, Nile.ag is operational in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, with plans to extend its reach to other countries. The platform’s product range, currently comprising fruits, vegetables, and grains, is also expected to expand over time.
Nile.ag’s ongoing commitment to improving user experiences and expanding product offerings sets the platform apart. By providing a secure, efficient, and transparent platform for trading fresh produce, Nile.ag is setting the stage for a dynamic transformation of the agricultural sector in Africa.
If you are a buyer or farmer interested in a safer, more efficient trading process, consider Nile.ag. Its unique value proposition provides distinct advantages for both parties, with an array of features like direct trading, secure transactions, quality verification, and a diverse product range.
Winich Farms (Nigeria): Empowering Smallholder Farmers
Winich Farms, a trailblazing Nigerian agritech startup headquartered in Lagos, is revolutionizing the African farming landscape. Founded in 2017 by the forward-thinking brothers, Temi and Tolulope Winich, the company is dedicated to enhancing the accessibility of their innovative solutions to the most fragmented parts of society. Their objective is to harness their strengths and resources to drive innovation in new product categories and customer segments, while providing simple solutions to complex supply chain problems. In recognition of their outstanding work, Winich Farms has been included in Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Agritech Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2023.
Winich Farms’ model is centered on bridging the gap between smallholder farmers and offtakers by bypassing the lengthy chain of middlemen. This is achieved through the company’s vast network of collection points spread across Nigeria, thereby ensuring a larger share of profit returns to the farmers. Additionally, they offer vital support services such as credit and insurance to their farmers, further strengthening their operations.
A range of services are offered by Winich Farms, including farmer aggregation, credit provision through industry partners, farmer insurance, logistics such as transportation and storage, and market research. The latter helps farmers identify the best crops to grow and find the most profitable markets for their produce.
Winich Farms operates as a technology-driven social enterprise, utilizing a mobile app to connect farmers with offtakers. The app enables farmers to monitor the journey of their produce from harvest to sale and allows access to credit and insurance services.
With their commitment to enhancing the lives of smallholder farmers, Winich Farms is playing a significant role in transforming the agricultural sector. The company is keen on simplifying farmers’ access to markets and resources and improving their overall livelihoods.
Homefarm (South Africa): Redefining Indoor Gardening
Homefarm, a South Africa-based company, is bringing the marvel of agritech into homes through its smart, indoor gardens. These self-sustaining ecosystems allow individuals to grow fresh, organic herbs and vegetables at home, transcending the boundaries of weather or time of year. Their advanced indoor gardens are designed to be user-friendly and require minimal maintenance, making them perfect even for individuals with no prior gardening experience. This commitment to innovation and sustainability has earned Homefarm a spot in Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Agritech Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2023.
A myriad of features makes Homefarm gardens an ideal choice for indoor horticulture enthusiasts. These include LED grow lights to provide optimal plant growth conditions, a self-refilling water reservoir, a built-in air circulation system to ward off mold and mildew, and a nutrient-rich soil mix designed to encourage plants to thrive.
Homefarm gardens come in a variety of sizes to fit any space. They also offer a broad range of herbs and vegetables to cultivate, ensuring a continuous supply of fresh produce. Using a Homefarm garden is straightforward: just add water and your chosen seeds or seedlings. The automated system takes over from there, watering and fertilizing plants as needed, and within a few weeks, you’ll be harvesting fresh, organic produce from your own home.
Homefarm was founded in 2020 by a pair of passionate gardening enthusiasts and has since raised over $1 million in funding. Its innovative approach to indoor gardening has caught the eye of prestigious publications like Forbes, The Guardian, and Wired.
Currently, Homefarm gardens are available in South Africa and Europe, with plans to expand into other regions in the future.
ePoultry.NG (Nigeria): Revolutionizing Poultry Investments
Transforming the dynamics of poultry farming in Africa, ePoultry.NG is a social enterprise that harnesses digital technology to create a symbiotic relationship between investors and smallholder farmers. As Africa’s first digital poultry investment platform, the startup provides farmers with input financing, access to profitable markets, and modern farming skills. It is no surprise that this pioneering initiative has secured a position in Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Agritech Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2023.
ePoultry.NG operates on a simple yet powerful model. Farm sponsors invest money into poultry farms via ePoultry.NG’s web and mobile app. This investment is utilized by smallholder farmers to purchase poultry inputs and manage their farms. Adding a layer of security, the farms are insured by the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), guaranteeing farm sponsors a certain level of protection. Through this arrangement, farm sponsors can earn up to a lucrative 40% per year.
The vision of ePoultry.NG transcends mere profitability. The startup is committed to empowering smallholder farmers by providing them with the resources they need to scale their businesses. By bolstering the poultry industry, which stands as Nigeria’s cheapest and most abundant source of protein, ePoultry.NG plays a crucial role in enhancing food security in Africa.
Investment opportunities with ePoultry.NG start at an accessible ₦50,000 (~$125), making wealth creation through farm sponsorship attainable for many. Investments are secured via the NAIC, adding to investor confidence. The platform fosters transparency, enabling farm sponsors to monitor the progress of their investments conveniently through their web and mobile app.
ePoultry.NG presents a secure, transparent, and user-friendly avenue to manage investments. The startup is continually redefining the poultry investment landscape in Africa, promising a sustainable and profitable future for both investors and farmers.
iProcure (Kenya): Streamlining Farm Input Distribution
iProcure, an innovative agri-tech company, has embarked on a mission to revolutionize the agricultural industry in Africa. Leveraging data-driven optimization, iProcure improves the distribution of farm inputs across the continent. This standout startup has made a notable impression, earning a position in Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Agritech Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2023.
Operating a widespread network of distribution centers across Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, iProcure employs its proprietary supply chain technology to expedite delivery, enhance accurate forecasting, and optimally position inventory. Currently, the company services over 1 million commercial smallholder farmers in East Africa through a network of numerous tech-enabled agro-dealers.
Founded in 2013 by Nicole Galletta and Stefano Carcoforo, iProcure has garnered over $16 million in funding from renowned investors such as Investisseurs & Partenaires, Novastar Ventures, and Accion Venture Lab. The company’s mission centers around lowering production costs for farmers and simplifying access to essential inputs. By bolstering the efficiency of the farm input distribution channel, iProcure aims to stimulate agricultural productivity and enhance food security in Africa.
iProcure’s supply chain technology boasts several impressive features:
- Real-time inventory tracking: This technology ensures farmers have timely access to needed products by tracking farm input inventory in real time.
- Demand forecasting: Through data analytics, iProcure predicts demand for farm inputs, preventing stockouts and guaranteeing a consistent supply of products for farmers.
- Order management: The technology streamlines the order management process, reducing errors and improving efficiency.
- Fleet management: Tracking the movement of delivery vehicles, iProcure’s technology assures on-time delivery in optimal condition.
Endorsed by both farmers and industry experts, iProcure’s technology is reshaping the way business is done in the farming industry. One farmer praised the platform for revolutionizing his operations, saving him both time and money by guaranteeing timely access to necessary inputs. Similarly, an industry expert termed iProcure’s technology as a “game-changer” for the African agricultural sector, stating that it holds immense potential to bolster the efficiency of farm input distribution and elevate agricultural productivity in Africa.
iProcure is an agri-tech trailblazer employing data-driven optimization to reform farm input distribution in Africa. With its potent technology, iProcure stands poised to bring substantial changes to the African agricultural sector and substantially improve food security across the continent.