Impact Investing | September 19, 2023

Emata nets $2.4 million for East Africa’s smallholder farmers

Lucy Ngige
Guest Author

Lucy Ngige

ImpactAlpha, September 19 – Emata partners with agricultural cooperatives to extend low-cost loans to smallholder coffee, maize and dairy farmers. The Uganda-based fintech venture says it has provided $1 million in micro-financing to 40,000 farmers through partnerships with 50 organizations.

Emata raised a $2.4 million seed round to support its expansion into Tanzania. African Renaissance Partners, Norrsken Accelerator, Zephyr Acorn, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation and Swedish angel Marcus Boström backed the round, which includes $800,000 in equity and $1.6 million in debt for on-lending.


Lack of access to flexible or affordable capital to cover farming and household expenses, like school fees, during the growing season means farmers resort to informal lenders, often at extractive rates.

“They will actually sell their harvest prematurely, or mortgage their farm to lenders,” Emata’s Bram van den Bosch told ImpactAlpha.

Emata works with agro suppliers so farmers can buy inputs on credit and offers no-collateral cash loans for emergency needs.

“It actually reduces risk because it allows the farmer to farm properly and not sell their harvest prematurely or deal with informal lenders,” van den Bosch says.