Maximiliano Landrein, CEO and co-founder of Agrofy. Photo: Agrofy/Courtesy.

Agrofy raises $30 million to speed up its plans of being the top 'agfintech' in Latin America

The Argentine agribusiness marketplace wants to launch a new lending arm soon, besides extending its footprint to Mexico

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Argentine agribusiness marketplace Agrofy has announced a Series C round of $30 million led by Yara Growth Ventures, the arm of Norwegian Yara International and a well-known investor in the sector. The new funding will help the company unify verticals that have been running in parallel: the e-commerce platform for agro products, the company’s e-wallet called Agrofy Pay (which should arrive in Brazil in the second half of 2022), and the next launch of the startup, its loans arm called Agrofy Credits. With that, Agrofy wants to be the main ‘agfintech’ in Latin America.

“In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, agro has increased its digitization pace. We’ve been working in this direction since long before and we’ve capitalized on this phenomenon. Closing this new investment round allows us to consolidate the transactional product and payment offer, which gives us the possibility to provide a better online shopping experience to the customers,” said, in a press release, Maximiliano Landrein, CEO and co-founder of Agrofy, alongside Alejandro Larosa.

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The new funding also had the participation of other private investors and current Agrofy shareholders: Cresud, Bunge Ventures, Syngenta Ventures, Fall Line Capital, ACRE, SP Ventures, Glocal, BrasilAgro, Capria, Endeavor, Draper Cygnus, and Lartirigoyen.

This was the fourth round raised by Agrofy. In total, the startup has already received more than $66 million in investments.

“One of the things we like most about Agrofy is its potential for future expansion,” said Erkki Aaltonen, CEO of Yara Growth Ventures, also in a statement. “Maximiliano and Alejandro have consistently worked towards a strategy for the company to expand geographically in Latin America and grow with new offerings to serve its customers. Yara Growth Ventures looks forward to accelerating its growth and being part of the journey.”

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Co-founders Landrein and Larosa know each other from Bolsa de Comercio Rosario, a non-profit trade association in Argentina. In 1999, they started talking about helping farmers in the country by trading grains and co-founded what is today one of the biggest grain traders in ArgentinaFuturos y Opciones

They decided to start their online endeavor with a news outlet, Agrofy News, which today is one of the biggest agribusiness news outlets in Argentina. In 2018, the company began to build its agro-focused marketplace with less than 40 people. Today, the company has 300 employees, most of them in Rosario, Argentina – and this number should grow 30% in the medium term with the new round.

Currently, Agrofy has about 5 million monthly visits to its platform, through which more than 5,000 brands offer over 150,000 products in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay, and Paraguay – in the long term, Agrofy also intends to reach Mexico.

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Typically, agtech companies build growth slightly slower than other fintech companies because the distribution market for agriculture is challenging. That could be the reason why LatAm doesn’t have an agtech unicorn yet. But Agrofy is a strong candidate to change that.

“What sets us apart from other e-commerce proposals for agriculture is that there is none that is a pure marketplace like ours and that is supported by a team with 100% digital DNA and focused 24 hours a day on the agricultural sector,” added Landrein, also via a statement.