The Agribusiness Deal Room will provide companies in the agriculture and agribusiness sectors with access to finance, mentorship, and market entry solutions to support their growth objectives. It will achieve these through a combination of project preparation, pipeline development, project bankability, investment promotion, and enabling policy environment.

Business selection criteria

Businesses for the Agribusiness Deal Room at the AGRF 2020 will be selected based on the following criteria:

Qualification Criteria

  • Sector: Agribusinesses with a clear link to smallholder farmers. This could include, but is not limited to, companies involved in the provision of inputs, primary production, enabling (e.g., agriculture logistics, aggregation platforms, irrigation, financial services), value addition, etc.
  • Country: The enterprise must be directly active within the African continent or be planning to expand into the region in the next 12-18 months.
  • Stage of business: Post-revenue/ proof of concept with a product in the market and an existing customer base. The enterprise must have plans to scale operations in the next 12-24 months o Enterprises must have a clear business model and must also be looking for financing (e.g., debt, equity financing, etc.)

Other Criteria to be Considered

  • Youth development: Does the enterprise support youth development and employment opportunities?
  • Gender inclusion: Is the enterprise female-owned and/or managed? How does the project promote gender inclusion and employment?
  • Environmental impact: Does the enterprise promote a healthy agricultural landscape?
  • Smallholder impact: How does the enterprise promote sustainably improved production systems, increased food security, diversified economic opportunities, effective financial services, and social protection systems for smallholders?
  • Collaboration: Does the enterprise have potential or existing collaboration partnerships with the private sector or NGO partners?
  • Inclusive growth: Does the enterprise enhance inclusive growth through community buy-in/engagement?
  • Technology acquisition: Does the enterprise propel the acquisition and transfer of technology to the region?
  • Opportunities for follow-on financing and replication: How will the enterprise use its investment, and are there opportunities for additional funding?

Application Requirements

If you meet the above criteria, please follow this link to complete a short pre-qualification survey in order to get a link to download the profile template. Given the limited number of slots available, applications will be on a first-come, first-served basis and only SMEs that submit fully completed profiles will be considered for participation. Once you have completed your profile using the excel template provided, please email it to dealroom@agra.org for consideration. Please note that all participants in the Deal Room are required to register for the AGRF summit.

Click here to fill the pre-qualification survey

The information to be provided through the excel template (not exhaustive) includes:

  • Company overview
  • Investment thesis
  • Financing and expansion needs
  • Business advisory (BAS) or technical assistance (TA) requirements
  • Willingness to engage post the Agribusiness Deal Room on fundraise progress and potential collaboration opportunities with

AGRA Value Proposition

Access to AGRA’s virtual agribusiness Deal Room will provide the following benefits:

  • Allow businesses to network with investors in the agriculture ecosystem in Africa.
  • Provide links to webinars and resources to support companies in the fundraising process.
  • Enable businesses to connect, explore partnership opportunities, and share learnings with other businesses across the continent
  • Connect with anchor buyers (e.g., beverage companies, aggregators, etc.) and explore sourcing opportunities
  • Provide an opportunity for businesses to connect and virtually engage with ag ecosystem stakeholders and government stakeholders
  • After the AGRF, businesses will be provided with follow-on monitoring and potentially benefit from business advisory support

Company experience in the Agribusiness Deal Room at the AGRF 2019 in Accra, Ghana

Agroplexi

Agroplexi is a decentralized blockchain backed economy that is catalyzing financial inclusion for farmers in emerging markets. Agroplexi leverages distributed ledger technologies to offer farmers peer to peer (P2P) wallet to store, send, and receive funds. It also provides an innovative platform for farmers to access affordable financing and assists farmers and cooperative societies to automate records for financial management.

Ogundele Mayowa, Team Leader Agroplexi, Nigeria
Mr Ogundele Mayowa was looking to secure financing of US$6 million to enable Agroplexi up-scale and be a big player in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy. He said the meetings he had in the Deal Room have been good and that out of six separate meetings, two (one for US$1 million and the other for US$2 million) look particularly hopeful.
According to him the deals (one from Nigeria and the other from the Netherlands), if secured, will help Agroplexi to accelerate and take the product to scale. He added that one of the deals focused on the projects which was good for his company and that two his company’s expectations have been met.
He congratulated the organizers for the match-making and was eager to attend the next AGRF Deal Room. “I think this is a good initiative. If we have more of these gatherings, I think more deals will be signed. I just saw someone, I mean a whole company sign an investment deal in the deal room. I didn’t even know that it can get up to that stage. So, one of the things I’m doing for the next conference is that I’m coming well, prepared”, he assures.

Victoria Seeds Limited

Victoria Seeds Limited is a full-line seed company, based in Kampala, Uganda. The company plans to expand its operations to establish a seed research, production, marketing and extension business unit in Kirehe District of Rwanda with the goal of providing certified seeds of maize, rice, bush beans, soybeans and vegetables to smallholder farmers.

Josephine A. Okot, Managing Director, Victoria Seeds Limited
Josephine Okot said the AGRA Deal Room was the best representation of the ACFTA at work. Okot, who had at least eight (8) Deal Room meetings, said AGRA was able to match-make SME’s and companies from so many African countries that it felt like country barriers had disappeared. “…suddenly I spoke to Ethiopia, the border has vanished and I saw opportunities [there]. I spoke to Ghana, the border has vanished and I saw opportunity. So, this is the birth of the Common Free Trade Area. To me that is what I see and even though I couldn’t access financing in Uganda, at the Deal Room I’ve met prospective financers based in Canada, Cape Town, Nairobi and Nigeria.”
According to her, many SMEs have no choice but to borrow from banks with high interest rates. However, the Deal Room offered them alternative financing choices aside from banks: “So what AGRA has done has exposed us to the different financing options outside commercial banks and to me this is the birth of ACFTA. The Common Free Trade Area has been born in the Deal Room of AGRA.” said Okot.
Victoria Seeds Limited was targeting US$3.2million from investors to help the company add value to its seeds before export. Although some investors said the target was below their investing benchmark, other investors assured her it is within their mandate so Okot left the agribusiness Deal Room hopeful that the negotiations would continue and result in funding for her company.
One aspect of the AGRF she loved most was the country presentations which according to her, were very targeted and brought out the opportunities in agriculture, allowing participants to see the low hanging fruits against which they could benchmark or invest in.

Rubicon Agricultural Production and Processing Limited

Rubicon is a wholly owned Sierra Leonean company involved in agricultural production and agri-business with farming, processing and marketing of its products as its primary activities. The company has an overarching focus on the following value chains: oil palm, cassava, maize, ginger, pepper, groundnut and has acquired 1,000, hectares of prime farmland on which it plans to cultivate these crops. 

Abdul Kalokoh, CEO, Rubicon Agricultural Production and Processing Limited.
Kalokoh, was looking for investment between US$25 million to US$30 million and he said the Deal Room prospects were good. “Well, so far so good. It’s very promising and it’s very encouraging. We see that the capital providers are sought of very interested in putting money in Africa provided the project proposals are right for the investments.”
According to him, the highlight of the Deal Room investor meetings is the opportunities it presented for agriculture and agribusinesses in Africa by bringing together investors from Europe, the US and all over the world who are looking for opportunities to have a stake in Africa.
He was full of praise for AGRA and the AGRF Dealroom investor match-making sessions. “Brilliant, brilliant. We will encourage AGRA and AGRF to keep up the good work. This provides a platform and a wealth of opportunities for Africa and for the African farmers.”

Zalli Foods Ltd

Zalli Foods Ltd is an agri-processing company that develops and produces outstanding snacks made with local fruits and superfoods. The company is on a mission to share a taste of Africa with the world! In 2017, Zalli Foods introduced its line of delicious coconut chips distributed under the Snacks of Africa brand. The company sources their coconuts directly from Ghana’s Western Region to create two addictive Toasted Coconut varieties- the Sweet & Savory (a crowd favorite) and the Lightly Salted. Zalli Foods will be releasing additional products under its Snacks of Africa brand later this year.

In addition to its branded products, the second component of Zalli Foods’ business is its bulk tropical fruit processing line for export. This business serves the wholesale market in Europe with non branded dried fruits.

Stacey Enyame, Founder and CEO Zalli Foods Ltd
Stacey Enyame who had 10 meetings in the Deal Room noted that although her financing expectations were not met, she has gained valuable lessons for potential deals in the future. She said of her meetings: “In general they were positive, I didn’t necessarily close on anything but it was good to get exposure for my brand and for me. And I am hopeful they will result in something meaningful for my business.”
Her hopes were to raise US$100,000 finance for capital expenditure and acquire regulatory certifications to enable the start-up to scale but there weren’t many investors in that place. However, the Deal Room experience, for her, was very unique and beyond her expectations as she had the opportunity to meet a lot of investors and to also take advantage of the whova app to chat with people directly.

While commending the organizers for being supportive, Enyame recommends that future Deal Rooms include investors with the appetite to invest and help scale SMEs.

G2L Company Limited

G2L Company Limited is a Tanzanian food processing and agricultural commodities trading company that integrates small-scale production with national and regional buyers and consumers of high-quality processed food and whole grains. The company achieves this by managing a fully capitalized and coordinated supply chain for processed food and dried agricultural commodities. The company has established and continuously invests in a strong supply chain network of smallholder farmers, farmers associations, local agro-dealers, distributors and dry commodity traders of Paddy, Common bean and Maize. This demonstrates our ability to engage with key value chain actors, particularly farmers, to optimize production through economies of scale while enhancing structures that build value chain capacity and enable the trading of commodities.

Guadensia Bakilile, Manager Of G2L Company Limited, Tanzania

Guadensia noted that G2L Company intended to start a baby food project (Instant) which will need at least 75% of maize, 5% of soybeans and 20% of other nutritional crops. To achieve this the project will require between US$1.5 million to US$4 million from banks or investors.

As a first-time attendee, the Deal Room was an eye-opener for her. “Most of the investors are looking for big companies with an annual turnover between US$1 million to US$10 million, however for us as an SME company, our turnover is below US$1million.”

Despite this, she engaged an investor who fits her company’s portfolio and she is hopeful that the relationship will result in funding. “I met some other investor who apart from expressing interest in investing in my company, told me that they have other products for helping SME’s which they are expecting to be launched in next year 2020 so that’s good,” Guadensia says confidently.

She advised that for next year’s event, the potential investors should be varied so that SMEs like G2L can secure sufficient funding for their businesses.

She advised that for next year’s event, the potential investors should be varied so that those that target SMEs like GZL can secure sufficient funding for their businesses.

Azuri Health

“With patience and working with the organizing team, we were able to speak to 10 investors in the 2 days we were there. In the end, the positive energy and willingness by everyone to make it work made it a super experience.”

Tei Mukunya, Azuri Health