A Boost for Small Farmers in Kenya: Agri-Tech Company Apollo Agriculture Receives $10 Million in Financing

Photo Apollo Agriculture
Photo: Apollo Agriculture

Apollo Agriculture, a Kenyan agri-tech company focused on serving smallholder farmers, has received $10 million in financing to further expand its operations. The capital injection comes from two Europe-based development finance institutions – Swedfund and ImpactConnect. Each organization contributed $5 million to support Apollo’s mission of empowering small-scale farmers across Kenya.

Swedfund, the Swedish development finance institution, provided its loan to Apollo as part of the European Union’s Global Gateway initiative. Specifically, the funding utilizes an EU guarantee under the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+), with a focus on climate and energy investments.

“The food sector will be a growing sector for us going forward,” said Maria Håkansson, CEO of Swedfund. “This is the first time we make use of an EU guarantee within the Global Gateway strategy and with this investment we contribute to increased food security and access to financing for smallholder farmers in Kenya.”

Håkansson explained that by backing an innovative business model like Apollo’s, Swedfund aims to foster more efficient job creation and a modernized, more productive agricultural sector in Kenya.

ImpactConnect, an initiative of the German development finance institution DEG, contributed the other $5 million in financing alongside Swedfund’s loan.

Apollo CEO Eli Pollak expressed gratitude for the new capital infusion. “This loan from Swedfund is a pivotal step for Apollo Agriculture in realizing our vision for small-scale farming transformation,” Pollak said. “We’re grateful for Swedfund’s partnership, which will empower us to expand our reach and continue making a difference in farmers’ lives.”

Apollo provides smallholder farmers in Kenya with agricultural products like seeds and fertilizer, bundled with services including distribution, advisory, insurance and financing. The company currently serves over 350,000 customers through a network of approximately 7,000 sales agents across the country.

Apollo’s main offerings for small farms are maize seeds and fertilizer, as maize is a dietary staple in Kenya and the most commonly grown crop. The financing will allow Apollo to reach more small-scale maize farmers.

Kenya’s agricultural industry is highly vulnerable to climate change, with many farmers relying on rain-fed agriculture. Apollo aims to promote climate-smart agriculture and strengthen farmer resilience through products like drought-resistant seeds, insurance, training and more.

Food security and climate adaptation are pressing issues for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Apollo’s innovative model and the new funding from Swedfund and ImpactConnect hope to move the needle on these challenges.

The $10 million investment represents a vote of confidence in Apollo’s mission and recognition of its efforts to empower small-scale farmers through technology. With the additional capital, Apollo plans to deepen its impact and expand its customer base in Kenya.

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