Carana Agribusiness, a for-profit aquaculture and agriculture company in Guyana, is raising a $1.225 million equity financing round on AgFunder, an equity crowdfunding platform for agriculture and agriculture technology (“agtech”). Carana, which was initially created through funding from USAID and the UK Government, is seeking to capitalize on Guyana’s untapped market potential from its abundant land and water resources.
Carana Agribusiness is raising equity for its next round of farm expansion to scale its operations up to 500 acres over the next two years. The company raised $200,000 of seed capital in 2014, and used the proceeds to lease two 30-acre anchor farms beginning in October 2014. On one 30-acre farm, the company built an aquaculture operation stocked with 40,000 juvenile tambaqui that will be mature and ready for market by July this year. On the other 30-acre plot, they will begin farming habanero peppers in April for sale to Caribbean sauce processors.
“We had a good idea about how the process would go, but everything came together rapidly once we actually got started. If anything, we were initially too conservative in how we thought we could get things done. Now we know we can move this quickly and scale out this fast.”
Carana Agribusiness is an independent offshoot of CARANA Corporation, an American-based international development firm that has led more than 250 projects in 100 countries since 1984. CARANA had spent over a decade laying the groundwork for this project managing projects in Guyana, including the USAID’s $6.7M Guyana Trade and Investment Support project. “Experience in the country helped the team realize that a more active, industry-wide approach was necessary in building profitable farms and establishing new markets,” Henry said.
Carana Agribusiness has entered a 90-day investment period on AgFunder with a target equity raise of $1.225M for the round. The company’s current fish production and pepper crop are valued at ~$650,000, assuming harvest and sale from July 2015. Henry reports that he expects revenue to grow from $650,000 in 2015 to $8 million by 2018. The operating team is comprised of alumni from Harvard, Ohio State, and American University.
CEO at AgFunder, Rob Leclerc added:
“Our focus at AgFunder is mostly on agtech, but we’re also excited to bring on alternative agriculture investment opportunities that we think will be of interest to investors, especially in emerging markets where capital is difficult to access.”
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