The global market for seasonings and spices is on the rise. The spice industry was worth over USD 15.11 billion in 2017 and is expected to increase to around $20.99 billion by 2024, representing a 5.0 percent annual growth rate between 2018 and 2024.
In 2018, an agritech startup, Agricorp, launched in Nigeria to leverage the promising spices market of Africa’s largest economy. With its 0.5 metric tons per hour spice processing plant in Kaduna and over 5,000 small scale farmers being supported, the agritech startup is driving spices exportation in Africa.
Today, Agricorp discloses a $17.5 million Series A funding which will boost its production capacity to 7,000 metric tonnes. The startups patented technology, Farmbase, registers, aggregates, and pays farmers for sold produce. Driving financial inclusion in a market where farmers are underserved, Agricorp makes the data of small scale farmers available to stakeholders. It also aids tracking of the farming process and determines farm input, product sales and payment of farmers. This information can also be used by financial firms to approve loans for farmers.
Founded by Kenneth Obiajulu and Wale Omotimirin, Agricorp plans to accelerate its growth with the $17.5 million raise. A funding round that was led by Nigeria’s Vami which provided $11.5 million in equity, Capital LLC and AFEX.
Agricorp disclosed it will use the funds to boost its spice processing capacity to 7,000 metric tons per year, establish regional sales operations in South Africa and East Africa, obtain food safety and hygiene certifications, increase personnel strength to meet increasing demand, and improve marketing strategies. We can expect this to boost spices exportation in Africa.
Disrupt Africa quotes CEO of Agricorp, Obiajulu, “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”.