Press release: Cold chain technology proving a cool choice for impact investors
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
AgTech and ‘first mile’ distribution innovator InspiraFarms has just announced the successful closing of €2.5 million Series-A 2 equity investment. The latest round of investment will enable the B-Corp to expand its operations, offering solar-powered cold storage technology and asset financing to a broader base of perishable food producers and distributers across the developing world.
As a company that aims to deliver social, environmental and financial benefits to its customers, InspiraFarms has attracted the attention of growth-minded agribusiness entrepreneurs and impact investors since its inception in 2012.
“I had been looking for an InspiraFarms for nine years,” says Emmanuel Beau, Co-Founder and Investment Manager at Energy Access Ventures, a social venture capital firm funded in part by Schneider Electric that provides financial and advisory support to social enterprises in the African market. “InspiraFarms is unique in that it offers plug-and-play technology that is not only disruptive, but its business model is built around cultivating long-term relationships and tailoring solutions to customer needs. That’s rare.”
Co-investor Rogier Pieterse agrees: “InspiraFarms’ integrated business model is very important. It has impact in its DNA, while having a solid offering that fills a gap in the market.” As Managing Partner at Pymwymic, Europe’s first social venture capital fund, Pieterse represents a community of high net worth impact investors with a mission to create positive impact on people and the planet—but also profit in the process.
“InspiraFarms offers the technology, the knowledge and the financing to maintain sustainable impact while growing in the long run. Theirs is a first for sub-Saharan Africa,” says Pieterse, echoing Beau’s sentiment.
With Beau and Pieterse stepping into new roles as full members of InspiraFarms’ Board of Directors, the organisation will be poised for the transition from lean start-up to profit-generating company.
Speaking of InspiraFarms’ recent success, Managing Director Tim Chambers said: “InspiraFarms is now positioned to scale our ‘first mile’ distribution solution, allowing the fresh produce cold chain to be pushed upstream, closer to the source of production, making logistics and market access viable and cost-effective for small and growing agribusinesses”.
“Our lease finance and remotely managed cold storage systems will transform tropical agricultural supply chains from a quality, volume and loss reduction point of view,” Chambers added.
Photo courtesy of International Maize and Wheat Improvement.