Nigerian spices manufacturers and exporters, Agricorp, has raised $17.5 million in a Series A funding round to help it increase its production capacity to 7,000 metric tonnes.

According to Disrupt Africa, Vami Nigeria, One Capital LLC and AFEX were investors that took part in the Series A round. Vami invested $11.5 million in equity, while other investors empowered the startup with working capital financing.

Founded in 2018 by Kenneth Obiajulu and Wale Omotimirin, Agricorp has so far supported over 5,000 smallholder farmers with inputs and training on good agronomic practices, and built a 0.5MT/hour spice processing plant in Kaduna that produces value-added products for the export market.

The startup leverages technology to produce, process, and export spices. The goal is to become the largest exporter of agricultural spices across Africa, increasing its production capacity to 7,000 metric tonnes per year.

The startup has developed proprietary technology, Farmbase, that registers, aggregates, and pays farmers for produce sold. In a market where farmers are largely undocumented and unbanked, Agricorp collates data that can help provide detailed analysis for stakeholders to make informed agricultural decisions and also helps with traceability of all farmer activities from the need for farm input to disbursement to sales of products and, eventually, payment. Financial institutions can also use this information to provide loans, credit facilities, and insurance to interested parties.

The funding will be used to expand Agricorp’s spices processing capacity to hit 7,000MT per annum, set up regional sales operations in South Africa and East Africa, acquire certifications for food safety and hygiene, increase staff strength to meet growing demand, and improve marketing efforts.

What they are saying

Obiajulu, Agricorp’s chief executive officer (CEO) “We believe that by increasing our capacity to 7,000MT, we will maximise 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. We want to show them it is possible and very rewarding as well.”