Kenyan Agritech Startup iProcure Enters Administration Amid Financial Struggles

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iProcure, a Kenyan agritech startup that revolutionized the agricultural input distribution industry, has recently faced financial turmoil, leading to its administration. Supported by Safaricom’s Spark Fund, the company aimed to streamline the sourcing of agricultural products for distributors, but is now grappling with outstanding debts.

Founded in 2013 by Stefano Carcoforo, Nicole Galletta, Patrick Wanjohi, and Bernard Maingi, iProcure sought to bridge the gap between manufacturers and distributors by enabling direct sourcing of products like fertilizers. Despite securing $17.2 million from investors to boost its technological infrastructure and expand its reach, the company has encountered financial difficulties, resulting in its administration.

Makenzi Muthusi, appointed by KPMG as the administrator, will oversee iProcure’s operations and manage claims from creditors. KPMG has emphasized that the company’s directors no longer have authority over its affairs, highlighting the severity of its financial situation.

The administration of iProcure comes at a time when several Kenyan startups, including Notify Logistics, WeFarm, and Kune, have halted operations due to macroeconomic challenges and a funding crunch affecting tech firms across Africa. Startups in the agriculture and logistics sectors, like iProcure, often struggle with product-market fit due to regulatory hurdles and infrastructure limitations in many African countries.

Mozilla Foundation’s report released in February 2024 highlighted the challenges faced by agritech startups, including adoption and awareness, connectivity and infrastructure, data quality and integration, and regulatory compliance. These factors have contributed to the difficulties experienced by iProcure and other startups in the sector.

The future of iProcure remains uncertain as efforts are made to restore its financial health. However, its story underscores the challenges and risks faced by startups in Africa’s burgeoning tech landscape, highlighting the need for sustainable business models and robust support mechanisms.

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