Brazil’s Agrolend has raised a total of $21 million in new funding for its farmer-focused fintech platform.
- Valor Capital Group led a $14 million Series A round that also included participation from Continental Grain Company, SP Ventures, Provence Capital, and Barn Invest, among others.
- Agrolend will use a further $7 million from Itaú Asset, Verde Asset and Augme to set up a credit investment vehicle.
The São Paulo-based startup connects small- to medium-sized farmers with credit – something that isn’t readily available to them via traditional banks. Its platform is entirely digital, which lets farmers bypass some of the bureaucratic barriers they typically face when seeking credit, it claims.
How it works
- Farmers get supplies on credit, rather than receiving money to spend on those supplies. Agrolend partners with traditional ag input resellers like Syngenta and BASF and deposits credit with them; these resellers then make inputs and other supplies available to farmers.
- The entire process is online and takes about two days, from requesting the loan to making a final payment.
Where the funding will go
- The Series A round will help Agrolend to increase its credit portfolio. The startup’s goal is to hit 1 billion reals ($180 million) and 5,000 clients across Brazil over the next two years.
- To achieve this, Agrolend says it needs more people and will use much of the funding to build out its tech, sales, and other functions.
The big picture
Co-founder and chief financial officer Alan Glezer says demand for credit from small- to medium-sized farms in Brazil is expected to increase over the next five years because of inflation globally, and depreciating currency domestically. Most ag inputs in Brazil are priced in US dollars and, as the fiscal situation continues to deteriorate, there is a greater need for loans in local currency, he says.
The big ambition
Agrolend says it wants to become “the first digital bank” in the Latin American agribusiness sector. It’s not alone in that ambition. Traive, another ag fintech company based in Brazil, voiced a similar goal in 2021 at the time of its Series A round. Farm management platform Aegro is looking to add fintech features to “democratize rural producer access to credit, insurance, and digital accounts,” according to its CEO Pedro Dusso.