FarmTrace, an agtech startup that provides a cloud-based management solution for farmers, has announced its latest undisclosed funding from Secha Capital and Hassium Capital. The startup says the equity investment, which comes after its $1 million seed round, will be funnelled into the company’s growth and improved customer experience.
FarmTrace prides itself on being the premier cloud-based farm management solution that offers a wide range of tools to assist farmers scale and manage their operations. Its platform integrates production activities in a way that allows for remote oversight of farm operations. FarmTrace claims its solutions can increase efficiency in farms and consequently boost yield.
Founded by Jacques du Plessis and Werner Lategan in 2015, FarmTrace bootstrapped its way into relevance for its first three years of operation, before landing its $1m investment in 2018. Speaking on the recent raise, Lategan, who functions as the startup’s COO, said, “With this capital, FarmTrace will bring about the next wave of farming cost savings, yield, and efficiency improvements. We will serve more farms, more products, and more geographies and ensure that we can help farms grow sustainably and profitably.”
Secha Capital’s managing director, Brendan Mullen, expressed confidence in FarmTrace’s model, maintaining that the solution was designed to solve the core pain points of farmers. “We’ve met with many agritech companies that treated agriculture as a homogenous sector and were not built with the farmer in mind. The FarmTrace team knows the key pain points in farming operations and developed a solution to solve them,” he said.
Howard Saffy, managing director at Hassium Capital was also effusive about the FarmTrace team. “The team has done an amazing job in building a highly satisfied client base across a variety of horticulture crops,” he said. “They have worked hand-in-hand with farmers to develop solutions to meet their exact needs. We are excited to be able to support them on the journey and look forward to being part of the growth here in South Africa and beyond.”
According to FarmTrace, the investment will help them scale their products and enable farmers to improve their operations profitably. This will further unlock growth in Africa’s agribusiness sector by providing local jobs, reducing food wastage, and optimising farm operations.
FarmTrace is playing in a market in dire need of intervention. Africa’s food market continues to experience a surge in food prices, arising from disruptions in supply, high cost of farm inputs, and currency fluctuations. Despite the market’s projection to be worth a trillion dollars by the end of this decade, most farms in Africa are operated by uneducated smallholder farmers with sub-optimal practices and high food wastage. Incorporating a tech-powered management solution such as FarmTrace’s could provide a much-needed boon for farm operations in Africa.
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