Mar 22, 2022 · 3 min read

Apollo Agriculture Raises $40 Million to Expand Platform to Help Small-Scale Farmers Improve Their Yields

CZI Partners with the Company to Support Food Security, Economic Development, and Sustainable Agriculture in Africa

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Apollo Agriculture, a commercial farming platform that helps small-scale farmers maximize their profits, announced today that it has raised a USD $40 million Series B led by Softbank Vision Fund 2. The round also includes participation from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Yara Growth Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, CDC, and existing investors including Anthemis Exponential Ventures, Flourish Ventures, Leaps by Bayer, SBI, Breyer Capital, and TO Ventures Food.

Since 2019, Apollo Agriculture has emerged as Africa’s leading agricultural fintech, growing revenue 10x since its Series A. Apollo Agriculture’s commercial farming platform is at the critical intersection of economic opportunity and climate impact, helping small-scale farmers build resiliency to adapt to a changing climate. Africa accounts for more than 20% of global farmland, with agriculture in the region predicted to become a $1 trillion market over the next decade. Africa’s continued population growth (2x by 2050) and increased global food demand means the region’s strategic importance in global food production will only increase. 

Despite this potential, African farmers have long struggled to access credit and high-quality farming tools, leaving average farm yields per acre at only 10-20% of those in North America. Apollo Agriculture directly addresses these challenges and empowers farmers to increase their profitability 2-3x with access to financing, high-quality farm inputs, insurance and optimized advice. Apollo Agriculture leverages machine learning, remote sensing, and mobile payments to accurately underwrite farm credit risk and has built an automatically managed network of more than 5,000 agents and nearly 1,000 retailers that enables last-mile delivery of farm inputs and services to small-scale farmers.

“Our mission at Apollo is to ensure that every farmer, everywhere, has the tools they need to farm profitably. Rural communities are the backbone of society, yet have been largely ignored by most technology investors, particularly in emerging markets,” said Eli Pollak, CEO, and co-founder of Apollo Agriculture. “We are incredibly proud to focus relentlessly on farmers and build products with the potential to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. Softbank Vision Fund 2’s investment is a powerful validation of Apollo’s business model and accelerates the rapid growth of our business and team.”

Apollo will use the funding to expand geographically, enhance its products and technology, and keep building their world-class team. The business has a strong team across its Nairobi, Amsterdam, and remote offices and plans to expand its operations, software engineering, data science and marketing teams over the next year. 

Alexia Yannopoulos, Investment Director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said “In the face of sustained macroeconomic and geopolitical volatility, feeding the world is one of the most important challenges facing society. Apollo’s platform offers a one stop shop solution to help small-scale farmers in emerging regions to improve crop and livestock outputs. Embedding valuable financial services like credit, insurance and advice into the supply chain is critical in supporting a more efficient and sustainable global food chain.”

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About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit chanzuckerberg.com.

About Apollo

Apollo Agriculture is the commercial farming platform that helps small-scale farmers maximize their profits. With optimized financing, high-quality farm products, and digital advice, Apollo farmers are already dramatically increasing their profitability. Apollo’s team brings together technology, credit and operations experience from The Climate Corporation, Google, Capital One and One Acre Fund.

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