Apollo, a Kenyan agritech startup, has raised $40 million in a Series B funding round headed by Softbank Vision Fund 2 in an equity transaction.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Yara Growth Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, CDC, and current investors Anthemis Exponential Ventures, Flourish Ventures, Leaps by Bayer, SBI, Breyer Capital, and TO Ventures Food all participated in the fundraising round.
Apollo, founded in 2016 by Eli Polla, Benjamin Njenga, and Earl St Sauver, uses agronomic machine learning, remote sensing, and mobile phones to give a customized bundle of loans, high-quality farm inputs, and guidance to farmers in emerging markets, starting in Kenya.
“We are continuing to invest in growing fast; serving more farmers, helping them grow their acreage, and really hitting the acceleration on the business,” Apollo Agriculture co-founder and CEO Eli Pollak said. As a result, there will be both sustained expansion in Kenya and expansion into other markets.”
The agritech business claimed to have worked with 100,000 farmers by the end of last year, with hopes to quadruple that number by the end of this year. It operates a nationwide network of “over a thousand” merchants and 5,000 agents.
Apollo has grown tenfold since the close of a $6 million series A in 2020, according to Pollak, thanks to product financing.
Over the years, the agritech has received over $16 million in loan finance for onward lending.