Based in Kenya, Apollo Agriculture startup processes and gives credit to small-scale farmers. The platform does that by combining remote sensing, mobile money and satellite data to analyze farms and give advice, farming inputs such as seeds and fertilizers. Apollo Agriculture’s first product is a combination of the three meant for maize farmers in Kenya. The startup has secured funding from Rabobank Foundation and FMO, a Dutch-based development finance institution.
The two have both given out investment worth $250,000 that will help the startup in expanding its services. The investment by FMO came from its €1 billion MASSIF Fund. This is an early stage fund of high risk aimed at supporting entrepreneurs in emerging markets. With 12 years since its launch, Apollo Agriculture has put up over 425 investments in 50 countries. Moreover, 40% of the investments have been channeled to support companies across Africa. Rabobank and FMO also joined other partners on a $660 million venture fund from Arise, South Africa. The scheme has also been supported by Norfund a funding kit under the ownership of the government of Norway.
Additionally, FMO has secured $87.5 million (€75 million) that has come from the European Commission for one of its investment partners. NASIRA program aims at increasing access to capital for European and African entrepreneurs especially women and migrants. Just like MASSIF Fund, NASIRA is linked to track record of FMO. The track record takes on the highest risks at an early stage to give other investors a leeway. Other investors in NASIRA will get a guarantee from the €75 million commitment. FMO targets to secure $583 million (€500 million). Generally, the deal is a good one for the Kenyan small-scale farmers at large. This will help them in overcoming the daily challenges that have been there in getting the necessary farming tools.