No doubt, raising a new financing round is a big success for any social enterprise. It takes months of hard work until new commitments from investors are finally coming in. Then, after a short moment of celebration, business as usual seems to continue. But what exactly happened after the round? To investigate how hybrid finance can help a social enterprise to grow and thrive, we have asked some of our clients about their major achievements since the last financing. What were their most important updates on business models, products, and strategies? And how have the impact projections materialized? Enjoy our new Social Enterprise Success Stories series, which kicks off with a climate intelligence and forecasting pioneer for agribusinesses: IGNITIA.
Photo: ©ignitia / This series is supported by the Kompetenzzentrum für Soziale Innovationen Deutschland, co-financed by the European Union.
ignitia: Reducing the risk of extreme weather events and building resilience to climate change for farmers in the tropics
The social problem:
▪Tropical regions represent 75% of global agricultural land with around 500 million small-scale farmers. This makes the tropics central to worldwide food security.
▪Weather conditions are the biggest driver of yield losses in these regions. Rain is often the only source of irrigation, while weather forecasts are notoriously unreliable. As a result, small-scale farmers struggle to make the right decisions and are exposed to substantial yield losses, reduced income, and (risk of) poverty.
▪ignitia enables small-scale farmers in tropical climates to optimize decisions on weather-sensitive activities such as sowing, fertilizing, and harvesting. More than 80% of the farmers reported an income increase as a result, with 61% stating that their income “very much increased”.
▪ignitia’s solution provides an unprecedented reliability of over 84% and is delivered via simple, easy-to-understand SMS based on a subscription model.
Proof of Concept:
▪With 2.6 million subscribers, ignitia is active in 9 countries and has sent more than 1 billion weather forecast messages to its customers to date.
▪In order to scale and expand the user base, the social enterprise was looking for growth capital in 2020 and secured a Series A financing round with support from FASE in 2021, based on a hybrid financing model.