Agricorp International, a Nigeria-based company that produces, processes and exports spices, has raised $17.5 million in pre-series A funding. This funding is expected to increase its spices processing capacity to 7,000 metric tonnes (MT), help the company breakout into new markets, hire more talents and build more processes that enhance global food systems.
The round led by Nigerian-based Vami Farms with an $11.5M equity fund, has support from UAE-based international trade and investment company – One Capital. AFEX provided capital financing to Agricorp, Ernst & Yung served as transaction advisers, while Elisio Law Office and Pavestone Legal served as Legal advisers.
Agricorp was founded in 2018 by Kenneth Obiajulu and Wale Omotimirin, wit the aim of supporting smallholder farmers with inputs and training on good agronomic practices and its 0.5MT/hour processing plant in Kaduna, Nigeria processes and packages farm produce for the export market. A recent report shows that between January and March this year, Agriculture contributed to 22.35% of the total GDP and over 70% of Nigerians engage in the agriculture sector primarily at a subsistence level. However, majority of these farms are undocumented and unbanked, especially farmers in rural communities.
Since inception, the company has supported more than 5,000 smallholder farmers. The company has also grown revenue by over 585% to service global clients in the food processing and pharmaceutical industry. Obiajulu, also noted that choosing the right funding partners for this round: “We wanted strategic partners that would allow us to grow our business and impact, not just see us as a portfolio in their investment mix”.
Agricorp aims to stand at the forefront of enhancing global food systems and plans to use the $17.5 million investment to contribute to the demand for spices as an export material. “We believe that by increasing our capacity to 7,000MT, we will maximize the potential to boost Nigeria’s forex earnings through export, contribute our quota to improving the Nigerian GDP from agriculture, and serve as a worthy model to African youths who aspire to be agribusiness owners”, Says Kenneth Obiajulu, Agricorp’s Co-Founder in a statement.
Lead investors Vami Nigeria, said they led the funding round because they saw in the startup, a clear growth path, strong social impact, solid financials, and global collaborations with key partners. Most importantly, “the unrivalled depth of knowledge , passion and resilience of the Agricorp team”.
Samirah Ade-Adebiyi, Managing Director at AFEX also added: “we have transacted with Agricorp on several occasions and have seen the business grow over time. Now, we are committed to providing the working capital they require, through our investment arm, to scale their operations at any level”.