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App lets Kenyan farmer profit from full farm potential

Just recently, Kenyan Apollo Agriculture raised $ 6 million funding to continue its mission to bring commercial farming to everyone. The startup was founded in 2016 by former employees from The Climate Corporation and Kenyan Benjamin Njenga.

Everything a Kenyan farmer needs to grow, finance, insure and market his crops packed in a smartphone app: that’s basically the idea behind Apollo Agriculture’s story and solution to help smallholder farmers increase their yields and maximise their profits.

Satellite imagery and machine learning are at the heart of the solution that sprung from the brain of two former employees of The Climate Corporation and Kenyan Benjamin Njenga.

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With its app, the company aims at providing small-scale farmers access to credit in order to buy good quality (hybrid) seeds and fertiliser and to insure their crop to be able overcome a year with a bad yield. - Photo: Apollo Agriculture
With its app, the company aims at providing small-scale farmers access to credit in order to buy good quality (hybrid) seeds and fertiliser and to insure their crop to be able overcome a year with a bad yield. - Photo: Apollo Agriculture

Farmer gets access to credit

With its app, the company aims at providing small-scale farmers access to credit in order to buy good quality (hybrid) seeds and fertiliser and to insure their crop to be able overcome a year with a bad yield. This way, farmers should be able to profit better from the potential of their farms with inputs, tools and technology they normally wouldn’t have access to.

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Satellite imagery and machine learning

Satellite imagery and machine learning are used to guide the credit and products offered. Farmers pay a fixed price to Apollo for the services provided including the sale of farm inputs and a margin on financing. The price farmers pay is due after harvest when the farmer has received the money for his product. Currently, about 40,000 Kenyan farmers make use of Apollo Agriculture’s app.

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App lets Kenyan farmer profit from full farm potential

More seeds, lower yields

Apollo Agriculture was founded in 2016 by the two early stage Climate Corporation employees Eli Pollak and Earl St Sauver and Benjamin Njenga, son of a Kenyan farmer. During his work at The Climate Corporation, Pollak wondered why African farmers were planting more seeds than American farmers but produced way lower yields. Benjamin Njenga was motivated by seeing his mother not being able to increase her yields due to poor seed quality and lack of fertiliser.

Late May, the company raised $ 6 million in a Series A round led by UK’s venture capitalist Anthemis Exponential Ventures. The investment will be used to scale-up the company and its solution and to grow the sales and marketing efforts in Kenya.

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