Pakistani-Led Startup that Empowers Farmers with Fintech Options Raises $1.85 Million

Ricult is a fintech startup aiming at serving to farmers with small land holdings get entry to the capital they want in order that they don’t face monetary exploitation by landlords within the growing international locations. The agency blends the very best expertise and farming practices so as to obtain this aim.

The startup, which is backed by the Invoice and Melinda Gates Basis, has raised $1.85 million in seed funding in a bid to deal with the smallholder farmers’ complete worth chain by way of a fintech information platform and market.

Based in 2015 by a workforce based mostly in MIT, and led by Usman Javaid, former Director Advertising and marketing Telenor, Ricult has launched into a journey to problem exploitative agricultural practices in growing international locations by offering farm enter – seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides – on easy and inexpensive credit score phrases whereas utilizing environment friendly credit score rating algorithms and precision analytics to enhance the yield manifold.

Usman, a former Enterprise Course of Marketing consultant at Nestle, believes that the principle purpose behind fintech startups’ failure in growing international locations is their method; they solely tackle one side of the problem by providing credit score.

I’m a agency believer that that you must tackle your complete worth chain.

Being a Pakistani and understanding how issues work right here, Javaid understands how middlemen and mortgage sharks exploit those that feed the world.

“These middlemen cost exorbitant charges of round 200% every year, and it’s a really exploitative and abusive relationship that may get very tough and even entails homicide if farmers fail to pay them again.”


Ricult is operational in Pakistan and Thailand so far. With its latest funding, the startup is aiming to beef up its share available in the market. Ricult’s sponsors embody the San Francisco-based accelerator 500 Startups, Wavemakers – a VC engaged on growing international locations, and a Thai company.

Earlier, the startup raised $600,000 in seed funding. The Gates Basis’s contribution on this was $100,000.

With a Sequence A Spherical deliberate in June subsequent 12 months, Ricult guarantees to permit farmers to take cost of their lives 12 months after 12 months.

Ricult – The Reply to Smallholder Farmers’ Challenges

Ricult affords the identical options as middlemen. Nonetheless, Ricult says that its course of is clear and its providers could be availed at extraordinarily inexpensive costs.

Registering with Ricult is simple. Farmers can entry the platform utilizing any kind of cellphone. Whereas registering, Ricult accesses the farmer’s creditworthiness utilizing credit score scoring algorithms and predictive psychometric instruments.

Utilizing geospatial expertise together with Geographic Info Methods (GIS) and Distant Sensing (RS), in addition to soil mechanics and climate research, Ricult proposes farm inputs trying on the land traits. Spatial variations in crops and soil circumstances are mapped utilizing Machine Studying algorithms in a bid to supply exact inputs for elevated yields.

Providing actionable agronomic information and insights, Ricult ensures that the farmers keep energetic even after they get the credit score or mortgage. As an example, pest assaults and climate forecasts play an important position within the well timed motion.

Ricult not simply restricts to informing farmers about optimum sowing occasions and climate forecasts, however after harvest, the startup connects them with consumers and mills who pay a processing charge to get entry to the promoting farmers. Ricult has diminished the inputs price three-times as in comparison with what the farmers normally pay.

Ricult pays the farmers inside 2 days, a marked enchancment in cost occasions in growing markets.

“When you analyze the entire scenario, the foundation trigger for farmers’ incapability to entry capital or have sufficient of it at sowing time is that he doesn’t receives a commission on time when he sells his crop and the middlemen will stagger cost over many months by design, to pressure the farmer to return to him for subsequent cycle and that retains him trapped.”

Javaid believes that their supply-chain method is the primary of its sort and it bodes nicely for his firm in addition to the farmers of the growing international locations.

Through AgFunder Information

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