AV Ventures Invests in AgroCenta, Supporting Digital and Financial Inclusion of Ghanaian Smallholder Farmers
AV Ventures, ACDI/VOCA’s impact investing subsidiary, recently completed its investment in AgroCenta, a technology-driven agricultural platform provider in Ghana. The funding made by AV Ventures is part of a US$790,000 pre-Series A investment round with other participating international institutions, including Shell Foundation, the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and Rabo Foundation, with support from AgroCenta’s strategic advisor, Qbera Capital. With the newly secured funding, AgroCenta will widen the reach of its smallholder farmer financial inclusion programs and secure crop purchases, mainly from smallholder farmers, at fair and transparent market prices to service offtake contracts.
For AV Ventures, the investment is part of its long-term strategy of providing innovative and catalytic capital to support growth-oriented small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) like AgroCenta that make up the “missing middle” of investment — too large for microfinance but too small or too early-stage to attract private equity investors. These SMEs are often the backbone of economies and potential drivers of innovation, but too often they miss out on financing that could enable their growth and longevity.
“AV Ventures believes AgroCenta’s innovative business model has the potential to scale not only on a national level but also across borders. The funding comes at an inflection point for the company, as it embarks on a larger fundraising effort to increase its smallholder farmer outreach in the cereals value chain and support post-COVID recovery efforts in Ghana.”
GEOFFREY CHALMERS, AV VENTURES MANAGING DIRECTOR
Photo courtesy of A’Melody Lee / World Bank.