iFarmer, a Bangladesh-based full-stack agriculture platform for farmers, announced the completion of a $2.1 million Series Pre-A round of financing led by IDLC Ventures, the VC arm of IDLC Finance—one of Bangladesh’s largest non-banking financial institutions.
New York-based Millville Opportunities, and Startup Bangladesh Limited, the flagship venture capital fund of the Bangladesh Government’s ICT Ministry, also participated in the round.
Launched in 2019, iFarmer is Bangladesh’s largest agritech company, offering comprehensive solutions for farmers, agricultural input sellers, and buyers, including retailers, processing companies, and wholesale markets.
iFarmer works closely with farmers to improve production, harvest predictability, and streamlining agricultural supply chains through the elimination of middlemen—thereby improving farmer margins.
As a hands-on partner to farmers, iFarmer facilitates retail and institutional lenders to provide financing for farmers, enables access to high quality agricultural inputs through partnership with agricultural companies and retailers, and creates better market access for the farmers by aggregating products from farmers and sell to institutional buyers, retailers, and wholesale markets.
The company employs a team of field agents to support farmers with their needs and ensure that produce makes it to market, providing farmers with access to analytics through iFarmer’s app for farmer onboarding and monitoring, enabling farmers to gain access to financing, inputs, and retailers.
Bangladesh is home to about 16.5 million farmers, with agriculture accounting for 12.1% of the country’s GDP and 38% of the labor force, and almost 80% of farmers being smallholders.
Traditionally, the biggest challenges for farmers in Bangladesh have been securing finance and access to high quality inputs such as seeds and fertilizers, as well as finding buyers to purchase farmer produce at fair rates.
According to the Asian Development Bank, farmers in Bangladesh earn only 40% of the consumer retail price due to the high number of intermediaries in the supply chain, with annual post-harvest losses amounting to $2.5 billion due to multiple layers of product handling and supply chain inefficiencies.
By breaking down inefficiencies and directly connecting farmers with inputs and markets, ifarmer aims to unlock the tremendous value in this sector through technology.
“Agriculture is one of the oldest industries known to man—and the cornerstone of modern civilization—yet remains underdeveloped in many parts of the world. Through our comprehensive agricultural offerings, iFarmer is able to improve harvest output and produce quality, while making a meaningful impact in the lives of farmers in Bangladesh through higher take-home income and productivity,” said Fahad Ifaz, co-founder and CEO of iFarmer. “We are grateful for the support of our investors, and are excited to serve even more Bangladeshi farmers to help improve their livelihoods.”