Kenyan agricultural technology company Shamba Pride secures $3.7 million to expand its network of merchants.

Since its inception in 2016, Shamba Pride has been revolutionizing agricultural technology in Kenya. Their primary mission? To revolutionize the distribution of farm inputs for small-scale farmers while addressing challenges such as price exploitation and quality issues. At the heart of their operations is the innovative ‘Digishop’ merchant network.

As of now, Shamba Pride’s network boasts an impressive 2,700 merchants, known as agro-dealers, spread across 24 counties in Kenya. This coverage accounts for over half of the country, a testament to their significant impact. But they are not stopping there. Their vision for expansion is bold, with plans to extend their reach within Kenya in the next year, and eventually to neighboring countries like Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, all of which face similar challenges in the agricultural supply chain.

Key to their expansion plans is a substantial funding boost. Shamba Pride has recently secured a $3.7 million debt-equity pre-series A funding, courtesy of the EU agriculture financing initiative EDFI AgriFI and Seedstars Africa Ventures (SAV). This new funding is a mix of equity and debt, with $1.7 million in equity. It follows a previous capital raise of $1.1 million in 2021 from SAV and Gray Matters Capital. This financial injection is crucial for fueling their growth, particularly in expanding their franchise network within Kenya.

At the core of Shamba Pride’s innovation is the digitization of agro-dealers. This digital transformation encompasses various business aspects, including management and inventory ordering. Such advancements ensure a steady supply of essential items like fertilizers and seeds to millions of small-scale farmers, particularly in rural areas.

The company’s founder and CEO, Samuel Munguti, emphasizes the pivotal role of agro-dealers in rural agricultural distribution. Shamba Pride empowers these dealers with cutting-edge tools and technology, enhancing their business visibility, professional growth, and, crucially, their ability to support local farmers effectively.

Moreover, Shamba Pride isn’t just about supply chain optimization. They also provide critical market linkages and financial services such as Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options. They deliver training information through their USSD platform, further supporting small-scale farmers.

The significance of Shamba Pride’s work can’t be overstated. In Kenya, agriculture is a vital sector, contributing 33% to the country’s GDP and employing over 40% of the population, a figure that rises to 70% in rural areas. The sector is also a major contributor to Kenya’s export earnings, accounting for 65%.

Shamba Pride’s success lies in their innovative approach to simplifying daily farming activities. This success has been acknowledged by Maxime Bouan, a general partner at SAV. He highlights the company’s role in generating additional revenue for farmers and agrovets (agro-dealers) and its contribution to empowering women entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector.

SAV, an investor in Shamba Pride, is a sector-agnostic fund that focuses on startups addressing basic needs such as education, healthcare, and utilities. Their investment strategy also encompasses the enhancement of goods, services, and overall efficiency.

An integral part of Shamba Pride’s strategy is their partnership with companies like the French multinational Elephant Verve. This collaboration enables them to source “climate-smart” farm inputs, aligning with their goal to build resilience among small-holder farmers.

In summary, Shamba Pride’s journey since 2016 exemplifies a successful blend of technological innovation, strategic funding, and a deep understanding of the agricultural sector’s needs. Their expansion plans, both within Kenya and into neighboring countries, reflect their commitment to empowering small-scale farmers and revolutionizing the agricultural landscape in Africa.