Agricorp International, a Nigerian company that produces, processes, and exports spices, has raised $17.5 million in Series A funding to increase its processing capacity to 7000 metric tonnes. Vami Nigeria led the funding round with $11.5 million in equity, while other investors such as One Capital LLC and AFEX provided working capital financing for the company. Ernst & Young (Nigeria) acted as transaction advisers, while Elisio Law Office and Pavestone Legal acted as legal advisers.
Founded in 2018 by Kenneth Obiajulu and Wale Omotimirin, Agricorp is helping to meet the growing demand for spices as an export material. Data from the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture shows that despite being the third highest exporter of ginger globally, Nigeria produces 31 million metric tonnes of ginger, with a demand of 65 million metric tonnes, resulting in a 34 million metric-tonne gap. While Nigeria accounts for more than 16 per cent of the global production of ginger, it gets less than four per cent of the export market share.
Kenneth Obiajulu, Agricorp’s CEO said, “We believe that by increasing our capacity to 7,000MT, we will maximise the potentials 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.”
According to lead investors, Vami Nigeria, “We led the round because we saw a clear growth path, strong social impact, excellent financial trajectory, and global collaborations with key partners. Most importantly, the depth of knowledge, passion, and resilience of the team is unrivalled.”
Samirah Ade-Adebiyi, Managing Director at AFEX, said, “Our other businesses have transacted with Agricorp on several occasions and have seen the business grow over time. Now, we are committed to providing the working capital they require to scale their operations at any level.”
It will take a bold approach to put Nigeria on the global export radar by leveraging investments to build simple processing systems for spices and other agro products. Agricorp aims to be that bold company standing at the forefront of enhancing global food systems.
About Agricorp International
Agricorp International is boosting spice production by aggregating spices (ginger, turmeric, garlic, chilli pepper, and sesame) from smallholder farmers in Nigeria, processing them into various products, and exporting them to major buyers in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Since its launch in Nigeria in November 2018, Agricorp has supported over 5,000 smallholder farmers with inputs and training on good agronomic practices. It has built a 0.5MT/hour processing plant in Kaduna, Nigeria that produces value-added products for the export market. It has also leveraged its technology to register, aggregate, and pay farmers for produce sold. In less than three years, the business has grown its revenue by over 585 per cent to service global clients in the food processing and pharmaceutical industry.