Asia | June 20, 2018

Ricult raises $1.85 million for alt-credit score lending to small farmers in Asia

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, June 20 – The fintech startup, with offices in Philadelphia, Bangkok and Lahore, targets small farmers in Asia unable to access traditional forms of credit.

The company integrates alternative-credit risk metrics with crop and weather information to determine farmers’ creditworthiness. Rather than lending money, it lends farming inputs and couples them with data and agricultural advice to help farmers be more productive.

“The biggest reason why microfinance institutions haven’t been able to alleviate poverty in developing markets is that they only focus on one part of the problem by providing credit,” CEO Usman Javaid told AgFunderNews. “I’m a firm believer that you need to address the entire value chain.”

  • Looking ahead… Ricult raised $1.85 million from unnamed investors in advance of a planned Series A funding round next year. It plans to use the funds for expansion in Pakistan and Thailand.
  • Early support… The company secured $600,000 in early seed funding last year, including a $100,000 grant from the Gates Foundation.