Kirchner Impact Foundation Announces Investment in Innovative Lending Platform
Siembro is an online multi-lender lending platform connecting farmers with financial institutions at the point of sale
Jacksonville FL, June 2, 2021 – The Kirchner Impact Foundation through its Kirchner Food Fellowship program is pleased to announce today that it has completed an investment in AgFintech company Siembro. Founded in Argentina, Siembro has developed a proprietary lending platform that connects farmers to various lenders at the point of sale through affiliated machinery and inputs distributors.
The $300,000 seed round was led by the Kirchner Impact Foundation and Cacao Capital. Seedstars accelerator also participated in the round, as well as follow-on participation from previous investors. Siembro’s embedded finance model generated profitability at a very early stage, prompting an expansion to Mexico where this financing will be used to drive growth.
“We are excited to welcome the Kirchner Impact Foundation as an investor’” commented Nicolás Simonassi, Founder and CEO of Siembro. “We look forward to working together to continue to generate positive impact for farmers in Latin America and leveraging Kirchner’s extensive expertise in the agriculture and food sector.”
Siembro’s distribution model upends traditional agricultural lending: the system is available at hundreds of farm and machinery suppliers, expanding the banks’ reach to some of the most rural areas in Latin America. In most cases, for the first time Siembro enables farmers to have a choice in their agricultural loans by selecting the offer that best fits their needs without traveling any further than their local supply store.
“Nicolas, Alex and their team have done a remarkable job in building a strong technology platform that has enabled them to expand into a new market despite the global pandemic,” added Blair Kirchner, Director of the Kirchner Impact Foundation. “The importance of financial inclusion and access to capital for small holder farmers in the region is undeniable and we see Siembro as a leader in addressing some of these challenges.”
In addition to Siembro, the Kirchner Impact Foundation’s, impact investment program has invested in innovative businesses such as: Solena, a Mexico based biotechnology research company focused on soil health, Green Zebra Grocery, a socially-responsible convenience store chain, focused on healthy and local options for customers, Kuli Kuli Foods, a consumer packaged-goods company selling healthy food products made with moringa, sourced primarily from smallholder farmers in Africa and Central America, as well as Tomato Jos, a vertically-integrated agricultural company from Nigeria that works with smallholder farmers to grow and process high-quality tomatoes into tomato paste.
Kirchner Food Fellowship
The Kirchner Food Fellowship is a pioneer in the lean impact investment movement, harnessing the power of highly committed millennial talent to find, fund and assist promising socially responsible, for-profit agricultural businesses to advance Global Food Security. The program has proven that it is possible for newly formed investment teams to become effective venture capital allocators in a matter of months by using a “real world, real time, real money” model. The combination of compressed learning time frames and low operating costs makes it possible to more cost effectively deploy smart and impactful capital in parts of the world were angel capital is needed most, leading some to describe the program as “Peace Corps meets VC”. For more on the program or to apply please visit www.fundthefood.com and our recent AgFunder article.
The Kirchner Food Fellowship is an initiative of The Kirchner Impact Foundation (501 (c) (3)) one of the “returning arms” of Kirchner Group, that focuses on harnessing the positive power of enterprise to make a difference in addressing some of the most important issues of today. www.kirchnerimpact.com
Steve Dauphin | Director | +1 205.602.9845 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Siembro was founded in 2017 to make lending to farmers in Latin America a faster, easier, and less costly process. While technology in machinery and agriculture has improved constantly over the last decade, banking in rural Latin America has remained unchanged. Siembro’s lending platform reduces friction in the process and, most importantly, creates a marketplace of financing options for the farmer.
Social impact is built into the core of the company’s business model. Siembro promotes financial inclusion and food security: farmers in remote regions can access loans through the system and in turn, the customers use their newly acquired machinery and inputs to increase food production on their fields.
Siembro differentiates itself by partnering with the agribusiness suppliers’ network (the merchants), which becomes its main distribution channel, and by its proprietary credit score algorithm Agroscore. Based in Argentina, Siembro has originated more than $15 M USD in loans, through a network of more than 200 associated points of sale in Mexico and Argentina.
Kirchner Group was founded in 1985 as a boutique firm and today operates various subsidiaries, providing advisory services (M&A, assessments, diligence) and operational support (interim management, workouts, turnarounds) as well as asset management (dedicated, portfolio optimization) – all leveraging a proprietary approach that dovetails domain and process expertise.
Throughout the decades Kirchner Group has been internationally recognized for its unique business model centered around creating value while promoting values: “earning while returning”. The firm has also established a reputation for building and rebuilding important business and social paradigms based on its deep entrepreneurial orientation.
Kirchner Group’s clients and partners include early stage to mid-market companies, venture capital and private equity firms as well as family offices and some of the world’s largest insurance companies, commercial banks and institutional investors. www.kirchnergroup.com
Blair Kirchner | Managing Director & Co-Head of Impact Activities | Kirchner Group | 902.817.2405 | email@example.com