AgroCenta is a Ghanaian startup that is a brainchild of an online trading platform AgroTrade. AgroTrade connects small-scale farmers to a large market. AgroCenta was selected in 2017 to represent Ghana at the global pitching competition Seedstars World. The startup is currently having a base of 10,000 small-scale farmers found in Ghana on its platform.
Given the fact that the startup did well in 2017 by guiding the Ghanaian small-scale farmers to a larger market, it now wants to expand further to Nigeria. At the same time, the startup is planning to launch piloting program in Ghana within 2018. According to AgroCenta CEO and co-founder Francis Obirikorang, the startup will have an initial 100,000 smallholder farmers in Nigeria. The farmers will be connected to almost six, small, medium and large-scale market to sell directly.
The startup also gives TruckR which is a highly demanded logistic solution for AgroInfo, an information platform and AgroPay mobile money offering initiative. The startup managed to facilitate trade volume of almost 2000 metric tonnes of soybean, maize, and sorghum. These helped it to get revenue of $190,000 between May and December 2017. In 2017, the startup got some rewards that included Green Energy and Environment category at the World Summit Awards, Africa Social Good category at Tech Crunch Startup Battlefield Africa and the Young Entrepreneurs Competition at the World Export Development Forum.
AgroCenta was recently selected by Seedstars World for its Seedstars Growth Program. Seedstars Growth Program offers high growth startups $50,000 with access to business advisory and marketing services on top. AgroCenta was founded by Michael Ocansey and Obiorikorang in 2015 who by then were working at an agricultural information communication service Esoko. The founders realized that the farmers were losing almost 40% of their income to middlemen. Although the aim was to develop a trading plan, they, later on, saw the need of working on logistics.
It was noted that logistics alone makes Ghana to either gain or lose around $200 million potential revenue. The company is currently being funded by close relatives and friends with the founders investing $20,000 which caters for various issues including building of the minimum viable products, recruiting agents, costs for research and training. The investment by the German and other investors have risen to $200,000 as per now. However, the startup is aiming to raise it to $750,000 by March 2018.
The company has got some investors like Greentech Capital Partners, Isebaltic Trust, World Trade Organisation and SANAD Technical Facility in Jordan among others. Currently, the startup has an ongoing agreement with various companies that include Guinness Ghana Breweries and is hoping to bring Nestle Ghana on board within 2018.