iProcure, the Kenyan agritech startup that raised $17.2 million from investors in ten funding rounds, filed for bankruptcy on April 26 after failing to convince existing and new investors to inject more capital into the business. 

The company’s co-founder and director Stefano Carcoforo told a Kenyan court the company was struggling to fund operations and bankruptcy protection was necessary because it could not pay its debts. 

While Carcoforo did not disclose the company’s liabilities, one person with knowledge of the business estimated its debts at over $1.5 million (KES197.25 million).  

“I, Stefano Francesco Carcoforo sincerely declare that the company is not able to pay its debt as and when they fall due,” Carcoforo said in an affidavit filed in court.

“The company has lately been unable to meet its financial obligations on a day-to-day basis. At that point, the company approached its shareholder and other potential investors to pump in more investments to enable the company to trade normally in the market.”

iProcure was founded in 2013 by Carcoforo, Nicole Galletta, Patrick Wanjohi, and Bernard Maingi to help distributors of agricultural inputs like fertilisers source products from manufacturers.

The startup’s struggles speak of difficulties facing African tech startups that raised capital from investors in the early days on the promise of rapid growth and have been unable to hit profitability.

“That failing to attract more investment, the company sought the protection of the law under the Insolvency Act of 2015, by appointing a qualified administrator under the law, to manage the company’s affairs and property of the company,” Carcoforo told the court.

Makenzie Muthusi, a partner at KPMG advisory arm, was named administrator.

The startup has had 10 rounds of fundraising, the latest being in 2023, where it received a grant from USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub and Spark Accelerator.

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