If there’s one startup that doesn’t seem to shy away from opportunities, it’s Nigeria’s first digital agricultural platform, FarmCrowdy. The agritech startup was in the news recently celebrating a year in operation and the launch of their new service, a mobile app to allow sponsors greater involvement with their investments. Well, they are back again in headlines this time after securing $1 million in seed funding from international and local investors.
FarmCrowdy is a Nigerian startup that is revolutionising agriculture in Nigeria. With just over a year in existence and operations, the startup has very well disrupted what venturing into and sponsoring agriculture mean for thousands of people. Since inception, FarmCrowdy is one startup that has shown great promise and proven it is capable of big things. The company has “aggregated a combined 4,000 acres of farmland across 8 states in Nigeria and worked with 2000 small scale farmers.” As an agritech firm, they are certainly blazing a rather nice trail through relatively uncharted territory.
The vision of the company seems to be drawing more and more believers as the company makes one leap after the other. Recently, they were named the “Tech Startup of the Year” and “Agric-Tech Company/Platform of the Year” during the Nigeria Technology Awards 2017 and the list of awards just keep increasing. They also went through Techstars Atlanta’s accelerator programme as the only African startup selected for this year’s class.
In the agritech company’s latest triumph, they have managed to raise $1 million in seed funding. This they got from investors including Cox Enterprises, Techstars Ventures, Social Capital, Hallett Capital and Right-Side Capital. Also included in the list are angel investors Tyler Scriven, Michael Cohn, Josephine Group, FC Agro Allied SPV and Dr. Christof Walter.
The seed fund will allow the agritech startup to scale its operations with plans to expand into a combined 20 states in Nigeria, work with 4,000 additional small-scale farmers and engage a combined 20,000 new farm followers and sponsors. Speaking on the announcement, Mr. Onyeka Akumah, CEO and Co-Founder of Farmcrowdy says,
“Today’s seed announcement is a remarkable milestone for us and Nigeria’s Agritech Industry as a whole-especially having just celebrated our first year of operations in November 2017. It will allow us to build on our earlier traction as we continue to introduce Nigerians to this exciting new category of partnering with farmers for impact and return… We are thrilled that as a Nigerian startup operating for just over a year, we have a group of investors who share in the vision and mission of FarmCrowdy as much as we do”
FarmCrowdy has also proved itself to be a company of much merit. Aside all the awards which the company seems to be raking in from all directions, the agritech company has also demonstrated their ability to deliver on their services. In their wake, they leave behind an almost unending number of satisfied clients. Their recently launched app is also very clean, easy to use and reliable with over 5,000 downloads in the 3 weeks since its release. We are certainly excited about this investment for their scale of operations and those who will be working with them.
It truly is a remarkable thing that a startup as young as FarmCrowdy is doing such big things and delivering on the promise of good things to come. It also proves that there are investors out there willing to fund very good ideas. The story of FarmCrowdy is one that we are keeping our fingers crossed on. At any rate, we wish you all the best and keep our fingers crossed for more excellent news.
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Curacel: Insurtech Startup Secures $450K Pre-seed Funding Led by Atlantica Ventures & Consonance
The insurtech startup, Curacel, an AI-powered platform for claims processing and fraud management in Africa, reports that it has raised $450,000 pre-seed funding in a round that was led by Atlantica Ventures and Consonance with participation from Kepple Ventures and other African angel investors.
The insurtech startup already works with some of the biggest insurers on the continent, including AXA Mansard, Liberty Health and Old Mutual, as well as more than 800 hospitals in Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda. It plans to expand into 10 new African countries by the end of 2021.
Every year, African insurers lose more than $12 billion to fraudulent, wasteful, and abusive claims. Curacel’s flagship CLAIMS platform acts as a bridge between primary care hospitals and Africa’s insurance companies, using advanced artificial intelligence to ensure that insurance companies only pay claims for the correct treatment, appropriate medications and recommended patient therapies.
Curacel is also scheduled to launch Curacel Capital, a cash advance product that makes it easier for healthcare providers to access working capital to mitigate financial challenges. Delayed payments and other inefficiencies in the payment process means many African healthcare providers often have to make the difficult choice between keeping the books balanced or providing healthcare at a loss. With Curacel Capital, healthcare providers can access lump sums of up to three times their average monthly billings, based on claims processed on the Curacel portal, ensuring that they can continue to deliver essential services without undue disruption.
With insurance penetration at just 2.8% across the continent, many Africans are one accident or health emergency away from poverty. And in Africa’s communal societies, tragedy impacts entire communities, with people emptying their savings to pay for medical expenses, burials or other disaster relief for family members and kin. By leveraging Curacel’s products and services, insurers across the continent are better equipped to close the insurance gap and safeguard prosperity.
According to Curacel Co-founder and CEO, Henry Mascot, in a press statement said,
“We are excited to have these investors on board and we are looking forward to partnering with them to drive our vision of improving insurance inclusion across Africa.”
At Curacel he shares, they are uniquely positioned to safeguard livelihoods and increase the quality of life through their unique, market-leading products and services.
IK Kanu, Partner at Atlantica Ventures noted that,
“The African insurance market represents a significant growth opportunity and we are delighted to be partnering with Curacel to drive growth in this sector. There is an opportunity to create an entirely new market of products and services here and we look forward to supporting the team to improve health outcomes across the continent.”
Finally, Mobolaji Adeoye, the Managing Partner at Consonance adds that they believe the Curacel team has what it takes to be market leaders and are therefore excited to support them. Also stressing that they have a great product and equally delighted to be coming onboard at this early stage of their growth.
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