As the year comes to a close, I want to thank you all for joining me this year. I appreciate every single eye ball 👀, like, share or tweet.
I want to briefly share three things I look forward to in 2022 and wrap up with some programming updates below, which I think you will be excited about.
Three things I can't wait to see next year
1️⃣ More Agritech and Bank Partnerships
We have already seen a few of these this year and it is always worth noting as these relationships can be very hard to form and require a lot of formative work that goes way beyond a press release.
The sticking point in my experience is getting credit approval for a product in agriculture that probably has a few quirks (data, limited sector knowledge, young companies etc).
Two of note were Growers Edge facility with Silicon Valley Bank in the US and one between Syneffa, an Agtech company in Kenya, and Rafiki Bank for smart greenhouse financing. 👏
🤝 Deals like this are important as they build credibility, not only of the Agri Fintech companies themselves, but also of the wider sector. They are the green shoots of an emerging ecosystem 🌱.
One in particular that will be interesting to watch in 2022 is the partnerships that come out of the State Bank of India call for Agritech partners in September, which was facilitated by Think Ag - see below ⤵️
ThinkAg is proud to announce the launch of State Bank of India's RFP for "Engagement of #Agritech Business Correspondents (AT-BC) for Sourcing, Servicing...
2️⃣ Specific Credit Funds
The above news last week from Latin America struck me for two reasons.
Firstly, this was another example of a dedicated credit fund for a Latin American Agri Fintech.
- BTG+ , the Brazilian banking arm of the international private equity firm (BTG) have also developed a sizeable fund of over $300m for major Agri Fintech companies Traive and A de Agro.
This was also notable as it is something we have yet to see in other jurisdictions i.e. dedicated credit funds set up specifically to work alongside agtech companies.
One thing that has struck me more recently is the emergence of Web 3 related funds targeting sustainability in Agriculture - I expect these to develop more next year and it will be one area I will be keeping a close eye on.
Generally, I think dedicated credit funds are a major opportunity and something I would love to see more of in 2022. As it happens, I was involved in a project doing exactly this in East Africa, but unfortunately, this looks like it has paused. (More on that below).
I think 2022 will see some maturity also and some prime time exposure for Agri Fintech.
Take for example an FBN IPO, which would be a major Agtech exit.
Or even the formal launch of Bushel Wallet? That will be a major watershed for the sector as a whole in North America.
Or maybe the watershed moment will come from somewhere unexpected, which is always a possibility. Take Tingo below for example who want to list on the New York Stock Exchange. I have a call lined up in early 2022 regarding this one - stay tuned 😀😀
Tingo is a unique next generation Agri-fintech company offering, through Tingo Mobile in Nigeria. Tingo Mobile has developed a comprehensive Agri-Fintech and Agri-Marketplace ecosystem to support […]
The credit fund project I referred to above unexpectedly paused in mid 2021, which meant we had to reshuffle resources at home and I took over managing 4 kids. (They are all OK 😅😂!).
One of the reasons the credit project wasn't working was an all to0 familiar communication gap between Agriculture and Finance, which unfortunately, I have experienced numerous times in the past 6-7 years since focusing on it.
This means projects start, then stop. Start again and then completely 🛑.
Bridging this gap was the main reason I started this newsletter and I am more motivated than ever to continue this.
You should also play your part by spreading the word or sending it to those you think might be interested.
There are most likely 1000's of projects globally which go through this same cycle, so I hope I can at least provide some base content for them to work with, or even their investors to use.
Thankfully, I will have more time back in 2022 and I will change the format of Agri Fintech slightly to focus on three things in each shorter Issue:
- Company Profiles
- Relevant News
One other thing I have learned is about the importance of the overall ecosystems in Agri Fintech and I want content to inspire the development of these in different sectors and geographies.
For these, stay tuned for a series of free online events I will host, which facilitate discussions with key ecosystem players.
The first will be focusing on Latin America and will take place in February (date pending) featuring confirmed participation from SP Ventures, Traive Brazil, Agree.Ag from Argentina and a few others.
Stay tuned in 2022.
Finally, to all my new Agri Fintech friends, have a great Christmas and a fantastic New Year.