Tarfin recently completed a $1.3 million seed round led by Turkey-based Collective Spark Fund with co-investment from Wamda Capital. The Turkey-based company is an online supplier of farm inputs with extended payment terms.
There are some 2.4 million farms in Turkey contributing $50 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Tarfin estimates that 60 per cent of these farmers are underbanked and cannot afford to pay the supplies needed at the beginning of the farming season and so many resort to buying these inputs on credit from local retailers, which can be very expensive.
Tarfin was launched in February 2017 offering farm supplies including equipment, fertilisers and seeds on favourable credit terms using its cloud-based technology and algorithms.
"We founded Tarfin on the premise that technology and big-data analytics can facilitate access to inputs with wider-reaching and more affordable financing, helping farmers improve yields and reduce costs,” said Mehmet Memecan, founder and chief executive officer at Tarfin.
The company is currently in partnership with 60 merchant retailers across 18 cities in Turkey who supply the inputs with more than 1,100 farmers on its platform. The overall farm inputs market in Turkey is worth close to $18 billion per year.
With the latest round of investment, Tarfin is hoping to improve and continue developing its algorithms and offer more funding facilities.
“We will be expanding our team and will be boosting our internal data team,” said Memecan. “Data is at the core of Tarfin’s strong growth. We go beyond the traditional credit bureau data in assessing risk. When evaluating a farmer, our algorithms take transactional as well as farm level data into account, which helps us convert more leads into sales.”
The company will also look to increase the number of merchants on its platform to more than 200 and the number of farmers to 4000 while expanding its retail reach.
"Tarfin uses technology to reduce costs and facilitates an easily financeable closed-loop in the agricultural value chain," said Gorkem Oktay, partner at Collective Spark Fund. "We share in Tarfin’s mission to create more sustainable agri-economies in Turkey and nearby Eastern European markets.”
Earlier this year, Tarfin issued Turkey’s first asset-backed security in agriculture, the first non-financial company to do so.