There’s a lot of talk around African agriculture. Now, there’s a little more funding going into the green space.
iProcure, a Nairobi-based B2B company offering web and mobile technology to enhance sales and inventory management in rural and peri-urban agriculture markets, has raised seed funding to expand their efforts. The funding comes from Invested Development (ID), an impact investment fund manager, and come from ID’s seed stage equity fund, the BSP fund. The investment size was not disclosed.
With Africa’s population expected to double by 2050, many farmers, distributors and retailers are left without the tools to do business efficiently. According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, about 33 million smallholder farmers provide sub-Saharan Africa with 80 percent of the its food. With so many farmers, there is vast need and opportunity for a better system. iProcure hopes to help connect ag-focused businesspersons, from the farmer to the large retailer, to offer a better communication and business tool.
iProcure’s solution is designed to allow farmers to manage ordering based on inventory, point of sale activities, and client profiles along with geo-located purchasing patterns, real-time agent performance and transaction analysis, and built-in mobile payments. The idea is for retailers to better predict demand with business intelligence data, improve inventory management, and streamline distribution efficiency.
In order to do all of these things effectively, the company has developed their network with over 5,000 ‘agro-vets’, or agriculture retail shops that are now commonly used to sell farming inputs. They also provide the user the capability to advertise their product, monitor their turnover, and use predictability tools to better prepare them for what is yet to come.
As it seeks to change the face of African ag, iProcure joins ID’s BSP Fund in good company. The portfolio contains sixteen companies that span across eight countries, which are all committed to using technology to face pressing challenges.
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FEATURED PHOTO: Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade/Flickr