Milwaukee-based benefit corporation Agricycle Global, an innovative “landless” ingredient upcycling startup working across Sub-Saharan Africa, announced the close of its two-part $2.4M Series Seed funding round led by Wisconsin firms MaSa Partners and CSA Partners.
The investment follows Agricycle’s commercialization of upcycled fruits from small farms across Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and its US launch of two owned brands reaching 1,000 stores in distribution in 2021. Additional Series Seed investors who participated in this round include Madison-based Wisconsin Investment Partners, Brightstar Wisconsin and prominent angel investors; Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust; and Kentucky-based Connetic Ventures.
Led by Founder Josh Shefner, Agricycle has democratized access to global markets for 15,000 smallholder farmers, women and youth who have been excluded from traditional supply chains. With Wisconsin-manufactured passive solar equipment, African food safety teams organize rural-remote producers into a network of export-grade microprocessors capable of supplying Agricycle’s portfolio of >150 premium, upcycled and functional ingredients. As an ingredient supplier to other CPG manufacturers, Agricycle’s ingredients beat commodity prices for their conventional counterparts by consolidating the supply chain and upcycling food loss.
“Agriculture is broken for the 1.5 billion people who farm small plots of land or live in rural communities and can’t access land ownership. We’re decoupling that well-guarded gate from the ability to profit from agriculture, truly enabling anyone with our technology and platform to create world-class ingredients,” says Josh Shefner, CEO of Agricycle. “The partners we secured through this funding round have been fantastic in helping us create value from our extensive network of rural members.”
Max Duckworth, Co-Founder at MaSa Partners, says “In less than two years that spanned a pandemic, Josh and the team have built Agricycle from an ambitious concept into a robust global business — solving myriad problems, creating previously non-existent opportunities for remote farmers and women, and delivering real impact in a number of areas. MaSa Partners is excited about the next steps in Agricycle’s trajectory to scale its business, grow its farmer network, and establish its value-added, customer-facing brands.” MaSa Partners will take a board seat with Agricycle.“CSA Partners seeks to invest in companies that have a solid and disruptive business plan and leadership that can competently execute against that plan,” said Steve Mech, Managing Director at CSA Partners. “We have found that Josh and his team at Agricycle have not only demonstrated success on both fronts but are also having a global social impact. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Agricycle will use this funding to complete its vertical integration across 150+ value chains and launch its core ingredient supplying business, Field Better Ingredients.
For more information on Agricycle, please visit agricycleglobal.com.
About Agricycle Global
Agricycle is an affordable nutrition platform and supply chain that closes the gap between smallholders and global markets by democratizing access to the agricultural value chain. Their network of 15,000 microprocessors has created a portfolio of >150 functional and upcycled ingredients that beat conventional prices.