Apollo Agriculture has announced that it has raised $40 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Investment. Other participants include Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Yara Growth Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, CDC, and existing investors including Anthemis Exponential Ventures, Flourish Ventures, Leaps by Bayer, SBI, Breyer Capital, and TO Ventures Food.
Apollo Agriculture is a Kenyan-based agri-tech that helps small-scale farmers maximize their profits by providing a one-stop-shop providing everything a farmer needs: financing, farm inputs, advice, insurance, and market access. The startup achieves this by using satellite data and machine learning to enable better credit decisions, and automated operations to keep costs low and process scalable.
Apollo Agriculture’s most recent funding came from a credit facility of $1 million from Agri-Business Capital Fund (ABC Fund) in 2021 and a series A funding round of $6 million led by Anthemis in 2020.
Apollo claims to have worked with 100,000 farmers as at the end of 2021. It currently has a network of over a thousand retailers and 5,000 agents spread across Kenya.
The agents onboard farmers to the Apollo while retailers use the startup’s “checkout app” to handle point of sale, inventory, source wholesale orders, and access to trade credit.
Apollo Agriculture looks to use the funds to double the number of farmers it works with, by expanding across Kenya but entering into new markets. It is looking for growth opportunities in East and West Africa
SoftBank Investment investment director, AdvisersAlexia Yannopoulos, said, “in the face of sustained macroeconomic and geopolitical volatility, feeding the world is one of the most important challenges facing society. Apollo’s platform offers a one-stop-shop solution to help small-scale farmers in emerging regions improve crop and livestock outputs. Embedding valuable financial services like credit, insurance, and advice into the supply chain is critical in supporting a more efficient and sustainable global food chain.”