About the issuer
Borrower: Fortem Holdings (parent company)
Credit base: iProcure (Kenyan based subsidiary)
Country of operations: Kenya
Head office: Nairobi
Maturity: 6 months
Grace Period: n.a.
Interest rate: 6% p.a.
Security: inventory, receivables and fixed assets
This is a direct loan to a company (rather than lending to a financial institution) and therefore it is recommendable that you are careful with the amount you will invest. High risk product.
iProcure is an agricultural inputs distribution company that leverages its proprietary mobile technology platform to lower the cost of agricultural inputs for the smallholder farmers (“SHF”). The company is able to provide farmers with cheaper agricultural inputs by aggregating demand from multiple farming communities through its mobile and online platforms and deliver the inputs based on the acquired data (orders, sales etc.). It focuses on last mile distribution channels, and most of its end clients are currently in the dairy sector.
The company has grown a nationwide network of over 17 operational depots and four regional distribution centers, located mainly in the Central and Rif Valley selling agricultural inputs directly to the farmers. The company’s objective is to build out the infrastructure (both brick and mortar as well as supply chain software) to make rural distribution cost effective and predictable. Using the iProcure platform the company registers local farmers, agro-dealers, and stockists (retail dealers) that require agricultural inputs for their clients. iProcure provides them with free access to the iProcure platform to aggregate orders and deliver the inputs to the stockists shortly after.
In 2017, iProcure secured its first consignment partnership (i.e the products are not on its balance sheet) with a leading East African manufacturer of Agri-Inputs. This involves the distribution of its products for a commission on sales with a cost sharing arrangement on warehousing expenses.
The company’s mission is to sustain SMEs (farmers) in rural areas through improved efficiency of supply chains.
By 2024, iProcure aims at becoming a regional Logistics & Technology company across East Africa meeting the needs of rural customers in the region.
Use of Proceeds
The company will use the funds as a working capital facility to purchase inventory and supply its network of agro-dealers around the country.
Accessibility of quality, affordable agricultural inputs to its network of agro-dealers and farmers.
This loan will allow iProcure to serve an additional 1,000 agro-dealers and circa 30,000 additional farmers purchasing quality, affordable inputs.
Kenya’s GDP is projected to decelerate substantially in 2020 due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Economic growth projection remains highly uncertain and the outcome will hinge on how the pandemic plays out internationally and within Kenya, along with policy actions taken to mitigate the situation.
GDP growth in Kenya is expected to contract significantly; the Central Bank of Kenya revised its estimate for 2020 from the initial 6.2% to 3.4%. McKinsey & Company has placed growth expectations for Kenya at 1.9%. Fiscal and monetary measures have been like what was taken by other countries in the region: lowering policy rate, easing cash reserve ratio and deciding tax relief package. The WB approved $ 1B in financing. The IMF approved $ 739M. Both lines are equivalent to around 1.5% of GDP. KES depreciated by 6% vs the $ since January 2020.
Company specific COVID-19 impact
COVIDs impact on the business has been marginal in relation to most others as the agricultural sector has been quite resilient so far.
- Revenues are expected to decline marginally this year despite a strong performance up until the middle of 2020 which saw our revenues grow by approximately 6% over the same period the year before.
- Despite the projected decline in revenue the businesses position with regard to profit has improved with an steadily declining burn rate. This is fueled by continual optimization of the product/inventory mix that has seen our average gross margin grow from 9% in 2019 to 14% in 2020, with further improvements expected for the remainder of the year, again fueled by better overall product margins as a result of direct supply arrangement made with international manufacturers.
- The business operates on mainly cash terms with its customer base. This shield the company from any shock to the supply chain resulting from suppliers restricting credit. This has help buffer the company from the immediate negative impact of COVID on both international and domestic supply chains. This however has not meant that the impact has not affected the performance entirely; towards the end of Q1 2020 the company experience an acute disruption in the fertilizer supply chain as a result of the sudden weakening of the Kenya Shilling against the dollar this caused a temporary (~1 month) disconnect in the supply of fertilizer in the market and the subsequent product scarcity.
Highlights or Awards:
- Company founded in 2012
- 17 farm depots
- 4 regional distribution, storage and handling warehouses
- Serves > 3,000 agro-dealers
- >500 iPOS handheld devices distributed throughout network
- Proprietary platform with online and offline functionality
- CAGR of 137% in revenue between January 2015 and December 2019
- Interest and Support from Reputable Investors and Partners