Nigerian tractor booking platform Hello Tractor has raised US$1 million from Heifer International to provide loans for the purchase of tractors that can be repaid from revenue generated from leasing them to local farmers.
Hello tractor deployed a tracking device and software that allows farmers and tractor owners to book connected tractors from their phones. Farmers benefit from an essential service that was previously inaccessible to them, and owners see an opportunity for fleet optimization that also minimizes fuel theft and fraud. It currently serves over 500,000 smallholder farmers across Africa with over 3,000 tractor and combine owners.
He has now raised $1 million in funding from International Heifer, which helps local farmers and food producers strengthen local economies and create secure livelihoods that provide vital income. The money is funding a new program, “Pay-as-You-Go Tractor Financing (PAYG) for Increased Agricultural Productivity in Nigeria”, which has already enabled the purchase of tractors in the Nigerian states of Nasarrawa, Abuja and Enugu.
“We developed the PAYG program to make tractor ownership – and the reliable income these machines can bring – a reality for entrepreneurs who cannot obtain credit through normal channels. We look at the revenue tractor owners can generate, not the amount of warranty they can pledge,” said Jehiel Oliver, Founder and CEO of Hello Tractor.
Oliver said the partnership with Heifer “allows us to extend innovative financing to people who were previously considered ‘unbankable’, while increasing access to technology that has the potential to improve the incomes of millions. smallholder farmers across Africa”.
Adesuwa Ifedi, senior vice president of Africa programs at Heifer International, said the PAYG model offered financing to entrepreneurs who wanted to create jobs by capitalizing on the demand for tractor services on African farms, but who lacked traditional forms. of guarantee.
“It’s a way to unlock capital for young people who have strong business skills that can help transform African agriculture, but who are often overlooked by private equity investors,” Ifedi said.