Turkey-based AgriTech Tarfin raises $8M Pre-Series B
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Turkey-based AgriTech startups and financing solutions provider Tarfin has successfully raised $8M in its latest Bridge round. The Pre-Series B round welcomed Yara Growth Ventures, the venture capital arm of Norway-based Yara, one of the world's largest fertilizer manufacturers, and saw participation from existing investors Quona Capital, Elevator Ventures (Raiffeisen Bank's venture capital fund), Syngenta Group Ventures (the venture capital fund of Syngenta Group, one of the world's leading seed and pesticide manufacturers), Collective Spark Fund and Dubai-based Wamda.
Tarfin, founded in 2017 in Northeastern Turkey, now provides services throughout the country with its wide agri-dealer network and digital infrastructure, bringing together traditional supply channels, technology, and financial resources. Through a seamless platform, the Turkey-based AgriTech offers quick and flexible financing options to farmers through a Point of Sale (POS) network.
The Agriculture sector in MENA was one of the hotspots for investors looking to back impact-driven startups, where AgriTechs based in MENA closed 6% of all impact-investment deals in MENA between 2016 and Q3 2021. There have been some interesting breakthroughs in the Agriculture industry across MENA this year marked by growth in funding. Mostly concentrated between the UAE and KSA, 8 Agriculture startups raised 10 funding rounds across MENA in 2021 YTD. Two rounds by KSA-based Red Sea Farms, designing ingenuous Tech to tackle sustainable farming, drove the 4,100% YoY funding growth of the Agriculture sector in KSA, while this marks the 4th transaction closed by a UAE-based AgriTech by November 2021. In Turkey, the Agricultural sector has been observing a 3-year consecutive growth in funding, to grow capital deployed in the industry by more than 3,400% since 2018. Turkey’s AgriTech funding rounds in 2021 exceeded $15M with this new investment, along with sizable rounds closed by two Tech-enabled smart farming startups Plant Factory and Hextech Green Makine, as well as one other finance-focused AgriTech AgrioFinans.
Today Tarfin provides farmers with easy access to agri-inputs through more than 800 partner agri-dealer locations in more than 70 cities. Farmers can compare different price alternatives on Tarfin Mobile and instantly purchase fertilizers, seeds, and chemicals with convenient post-harvest payment terms. In Tarfin, farmers find both competitive prices and the speed of the digital world. “This investment is important proof that scale-driven value can be built through the use of technology in small-scale agriculture,” said Tarfin founder and CEO Mehmet Memecan. “It will be an important driving force between reaching more farmers in Turkey and in our overseas expansion starting in Romania.”
To date, the company has supplied and financed more than $80M of agricultural inputs to 32,000 farmers. “We believe in the power of technology and data science when it comes to better servicing the needs of farmers. We plan to use this latest USD $8 million funding in expanding our software development and data science teams, finance the launch of our Romanian operations, and invest in new value-added products and services for our farmers and partner agri-dealers” Memecan added.
The funding will be used to strengthen Tarfin’s offerings to farmers in Turkey and fund expansion into Romania. “One of the things that we like about Tarfin is the critical role they play in providing farmers and agri-dealers with financing to grow their businesses,” concluded George Roche of Yara Growth Ventures. “By being an enabler of credit through an easy to use experience and competitive interest rates, Tarfin has tremendous potential to layer on new offerings to both agri-dealers and farmers directly.”
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