Aruwa Capital Management, an early-stage growth equity and gender lens fund investing in Nigeria and Ghana has made a follow-on investment in AgroEknor International, a fast-growing hibiscus flower exporter and wellness brand.
In November 2021, Aruwa made an initial investment into the Company, which was utilized to accelerate AgroEknor’s growth by procuring products and exporting huge volumes of Hibiscus flowers to meet the demands of clients in Asia, Europe and North America.
The Company has since launched its Farmers Education and Empowerment Project (FEEP), which aims to help farmers in Northern Nigeria upgrade their farming practices and increase their farming yields, while serving as a sustainable source for the Company’s product.
To date, over 2,000 farmers have been enrolled with many more seeking to be enrolled.
AgroEknor has also commenced the construction of a best in class fumigation chamber, integrated the use technology into its product sourcing mechanism, obtained certifications for global food, safety and hygiene. Furthermore, the Company has acquired a new warehouse which is able to accommodate up to 1,200 tons of product, to meet rapidly increasing demand and also set in motion its product diversification strategies with a medium-term goal to achieve backward integration of complimentary superfood products.
Aruwa’s latest investment will be used to support the continuous strong growth of the Company by way of further investment to complete the fumigation chambers, procure inventory to meet the soaring order book from clients across the world of more than 8,000 tons, as well as product expansion and diversification, which will deepen its product offering and reach, to more international clients.
Timi Oke, CEO of AgroEknor, said: “Aruwa’s initial investment helped us a great deal to meet and surpass our ambitions including the commencement of the construction of our fumigation chamber with a capacity to process 120 tons of cash crops weekly. With the follow-on investment, we will complete and launch our fumigation chamber, an important integrated backend infrastructure in our business which enables us process and export, globally acceptable cash crops to our clients.
Additionally, we have benefited immensely from Aruwa’s portfolio enhancement support with respect to the FEEP program that provides top-notch sustainable agricultural training, land, access to capital and enhanced farming techniques to farmers in Northern Nigeria. The program has delivered higher income earnings to over 2,000 AgroEknor small holder farmers and agro processors, most of which are women. We are grateful for the reconfirmed commitment in our business by Aruwa and we look forward to achieving more results together with this investment”.
Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Founder & Managing Partner of Aruwa Capital added: “AgroEknor’s mission is to improve sustainability and profitability of the Nigerian agriculture value-chain whilst securing hard currency export earnings and we are fully aligned with the Company in that ambition. Since our initial investment, the Company has been able to invest in its entire value chain and has demonstrated with the FEEP program that it has the capacity make a great impact on smallholders farmers in Northern Nigeria, while providing an avenue for sustainable sourcing of its products.
AgroEknor is currently finalizing its fumigation chamber which will make it one of the few companies in Nigeria with direct export to Mexico, we believe this will positively change the trajectory of the Company. With this follow-on investment, we are reaffirming our belief in the Company’s vision, and we are excited to continue to back a proven team as they expand their business to even greater success.”
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