April 18, 2024

Founded in 2017 (and fully operational since 2018) and led by Chief Executive Officer Uka Eje, CTO Ayo Arikawe, CFO Olurotimi Arigbede, and Head of Risk Management and Compliance Michael Kadiri, ThriveAgric empowers farmers in Nigeria to sell their products to FMCGs and food processors, leveraging its proprietary technology to access finance as well as improve productivity and sales to promote food security. 

The technology, an Agricultural Operating System (AOS), works entirely offline, dispatches USSD to farmers, and powers Android apps used by field agents to help digitally collate creditworthy farmers and gather relevant farm data. 

The company supports Africa’s agriculture sector by assisting smallholder farmers in producing high-quality grains. 

Harvests, including maize, rice, and soybeans, are stored in many of the company’s 450+ warehouses in Bauchi, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, and Katsina states in Nigeria, before being commoditized and offered to local and global trade markets at a premium price. 

The technology, an agricultural operating system, works entirely offline, dispatches USSD to farmers, and powers Android apps used by field agents to help digitally collate creditworthy farmers and gather relevant farm data. 

ThriveAgric is a fast-growing technology-driven agricultural company, passionate about ensuring food security. 

The company does this by linking smallholder farmers to capital, data-driven best practices, and access to local and global markets for their commodities.

How it Works

ThriveAgric leverages technology to provide profitable support for smallholder farmers across Africa, thereby strengthening the foundation of the different value chains in the agriculture industry toward increasing food production. 

They offer services such as farmer onboarding, farm mapping, input distribution, field monitoring, harvesting, and inventory management.

ThriveAgric has developed a proprietary technology called an Agricultural Operating System (AOS), which works entirely offline and powers several apps that enable and enhance different aspects of their operations as well as provide other big data benefits to the agricultural ecosystem.

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Riding on their Agricultural Operating System (AOS), ThriveAgric has successfully collected data from over 250,000 smallholder farmers which have enabled their training and development, credit scoring, increased productivity/yield, as well as social and financial inclusion (via their digital payment process).

ThriveAgric seeks to solve global food shortage, and they do this by ensuring consistent profitability and a sustainable framework for more commercial than subsistence farming for the major food producers – smallholder farmers. 

They address the three main challenges they face by linking their farmers to capital, data-driven best practices, and access to local and global markets for their commodities. 

ThriveAgric also deploys a full range of agricultural technology solutions that ensures maximum value at the least possible cost to smallholder farmers and other relevant stakeholders, ultimately leading to food security for Africans and the world.

Smallholder Farmers

If food security is the goal, then the major food producers – smallholder farmers – should be the focus because they are the backbone of the agriculture industry. 

So at ThriveAgric, we believe that if we solve the challenges that limit them, they will unlock the nation’s food production potential in two key ways – smallholder farmers gain improved livelihoods, and they build a sustainable structure for more commercial than subsistence farming.

Spokesperson

ThriveAgric has four key spokespersons: Uka Eje – Co-founder and CEO; Ayo Arikawe – Co-founder and CTO; Oshone Anavhe – Vice President, Operations; Adetoro Akindele – Vice President, Commercial; Ijeoma Chime – Head, Corporate Communications.

Partners

Over the years of their operations, ThriveAgric has partnered in different capacities with the Central Bank of Nigeria, World Food Programme (WFP), USAID/WATIH, Gricd, AFEX, Amo Byng LTD, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Indorama, Leadway, Kamtrac, Notore, OCP, Sterling Bank, Diageo, Sygenta, Wacot, Premier Feed Mills, Rom Oil Mills, Providus Bank, FCMB Bank.

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Data

ThriveAgric depends heavily on data because their work involves large volumes – smallholder farmers, hectares, metric tonnes, etc. Being a technology-driven company, they also recognize the immense benefits of big data to demonstrate our impact, scale, and efficiency.

Insurance

Their farms are fully insured against challenges in the pre-harvest period i.e. when livestock or crops are still in production.

However, pre-operational (like delays in procurement of inputs) and post-harvest challenges (like delays in off-taker payments) as they experience, are not covered by insurance. 

Notwithstanding, they keenly follow the process and close out on claims for farms that had challenges in the termed durations and cover range; theft, flooding, pests, and natural hazards of any kind.

Founders

Uka Eje

Uka Eje

Uka Eje is the current Co-Founder and CEO of Thrive Agric. 

Uka is experienced working in the information technology and services industry and he is Skilled in Operations Management, Team Leadership, Strategic Planning, and Agriculture together with a Strong business development professional with a focus on The Future of Farming from the University of Reading.

He previously worked at Royal Impact Corp as a Team Lead. 

Uka Eje attended Covenant University.

Ayodeji Arikawe

Ayodeji Arikawe

Ayodeji Arikawe is the current Co-Founder and CTO of Thrive Agric. 

He previously worked at Royal Impact as a Partner.

Ayodeji Arikawe attended the University of Maryland.

Investors & Funding Rounds

West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (USAID)

ThriveAgric has raised US$56.4 million in debt funding from local commercial banks and institutional investors to grow its 200,000-strong farmer base and expand into new African markets, including Ghana, Zambia, and Kenya.

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The US$56.4 million in debt funding also includes a co-investment grant of US$1.75 million from the USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment and will be used to further boost its user base and expand into new markets across Africa.

Over the past months, ThriveAgric’s revenues have increased five-fold, with a year-on-year increase of 277 percent in farmer numbers. 

This represents a strong turnaround for the company, which in late-2020 was forced to shuffle its management team as it looked to turn the business around after failing to payout subscribers in time in the wake of a slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new investment takes us one step closer to fulfilling their mission of building the largest network of profitable African farmers using technology, to ensure food security.

 Additionally, they look ahead with renewed confidence knowing that their smallholder farmers will benefit financially even more from this new investment.

Despite a volatile backdrop over the past few years, brought about by the global pandemic, ThriveAgric witnessed temporary payment disruptions to their retail crowd funders.

However, they were able to overcome those challenges within a year and maintained company profitability. Their solid financial performance underscores investors’ faith in ThriveAgric.

Main Competitors

Verdant Robotics: It manufactures robotics systems; the company’s current platform delivers transformative agricultural services.

Apollo Agriculture: This is an agri-tech company that helps small-scale farmers access markets, financing, and inputs.

Hello Tractor: It is an Agri-Tech company that connects tractor owners to smallholder farmers in need of tractor services.

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