Kenyan Startup Secures Ksh4B Funding

  • From left: A file image of Apollo Agriculture founders, Eli Pollak , Benjamin Njenga, and Earl St Sauver.
    From left: A file image of Apollo Agriculture founders, Eli Pollak , Benjamin Njenga, and Earl St Sauver.
    File
  • Kenyan start-up company, Apollo Agriculture has secured funding worth Ksh4 billion ($40,000,000) to expand its operations in the country and the rest of Africa.

    The funding was secured after the Nairobi-based company participated in Series B, a pool of funding by global investors who help start-up companies grow and expand. 

    SoftBank Vision Fund, a financial institution based in the United Kingdom (UK), and Chan Zuckerberg Foundation, associated with Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg were among the firms that funded the Kenyan start-up company. 

    An undated photo of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
    An undated photo of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
    Photo by Nick Statt / The Verge

    Apollo Agriculture was founded in 2016, by Benjamin Njenga, Earl St Sauver, and Eli Pollak who doubles up as the company's Chief Executive (CEO).

    The firm is a technology-based company that helps farmers to maximise profits in the market by offering them a platform that provides them with data on financial services, insurance, and potential markets for farm produce.

    According to Pollak, the company will use the funding to expand its venture to some countries in East Africa and West Africa.

    "We are continuing to invest in growing fast, serving more farmers, helping them grow their acreage, and really hitting the acceleration on the business.”

    “That will have continued expansion across Kenya but also expansion into new markets,” he stated.

    Though the company has worked mostly with maize farmers, the CEO stated that they would explore other farming opportunities in the agricultural sector.

    “We are also continuing to develop products that deliver more value per acre. That could be new crops that enable customers to earn more money.

    We began with maize. Maize is not perfect, but it has a profound advantage, as nearly every farmer plants it across East Africa. This gives us a place where we can earn farmer’s trust and we can deliver value immediately,” the CEO stated.

    Over the years, the company has received investment from global companies as a show of faith in the company's potential.

    In 2020, it secured funding worth Ksh686 million which it used to expand its operations in some parts of the country.

    A farmer spraying pesticide on crops.
    A farmer spraying pesticide on crops.
    File