Kenya’s Gro Intelligence, a US-based agricultural data platform, is closing down after facing challenges in securing adequate funding to sustain its operations. Despite announcing emergency funding through a bridged round in March 2024, the startup could not raise enough capital from both existing and new investors, leading to its downfall.

The company’s financial struggles became apparent in February 2024 when reports surfaced that it was unable to meet payroll obligations despite accumulating $117 million in funding since its establishment in 2012. Notably, Gro Intelligence received $85 million in its last public fundraising round, supported by Intel Capital and Africa Internet Ventures.

Gro Intelligence, after appointing a new CEO and laying off many employees, announced its closure to its staff in Kenya and the US. The company is facing lawsuits from ex-employees over labor law violations and is being investigated by the SEC for possible malpractices, focusing on investor communications and fund misrepresentation.

Amidst these challenges, Gro Intelligence’s closure highlights the tough fundraising landscape and a lack of market alignment, underscoring the difficulties faced by the company despite its ambitious goal of creating the world’s largest agricultural data platform by sourcing information from various sources like government bodies, trade associations, financial markets, and weather agencies to deliver actionable insights to agricultural firms. One of its notable clients included the fast-moving consumer goods company, Unilever.

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