Japan’s Degas secures $6.7M to serve more to unbanked small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa

Image credit: Degas

Tokyo-based Degas, the Japanese startup aiming to help improving the livelihoods of small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, announced last week that it has secured 970 million yen (about $6.7 million). Participating investors in the latest unspecified round are Animal Spirits, Global Catalyst Partners Japan, Hakuhodo DY Ventures, Nanto CVC (run by Nanto Bank and Nanto Capital Partners), and Primal Capital.

The company has so far secured 240 million yen in the 1st close of the seed round revealed in November of 2020 (Primal Capital, Akatsuki’s Heart Driven Fund, and others participated) and subsequently 1 billion yen (round unknown; Deepcore, Monex Ventures, Inclusion Japan, and Ikemori Venture Support participated) in January of 2023.

Since its launch back in 2018 by Doga Makiura, who was featured by TED as “one of the 12 young people around the world in 2014, the company has been offering financial services to more than 46,000 small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Through its mobile app and local operations, the company has been serving to small farmers not covered by traditional financial institutions leveraging data collection and AI-based credit decisions.

Degas will use the funds to expand its existing farmer finance business and launch two new businesses. The company will hire experts in carbon credits and data analysis to issue high-quality carbon credits to launch the decarbonization business while aiming to form a marketplace for academic loans, farm machinery leasing, and mobile phone contracts.

via PR Times