Read time: 3 minutes

Agritech startup COOKO gets €800,000 pre-seed funding

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Cameroon , 22 Jun 2023
COOKO research centre.
COOKO research centre.

Agri-tech tech startup out of Berlin and Cameroon COOKO has raised over €800. 000 in a pre-seed funding round to transform agricultural value chains.

The funding round opened in April and closed on 12 June.

The start-up says the funds will boost cocoa traceability in Cameroon and agricultural value chains – focused on cocoa.

COOKO offers cloud-enabled smart harvesting containers for cocoa which turn the value drain of first-mile logistics into a value gain through increased quality, decreased costs and pin-point traceability data.

The solution adds a digital touch to the harvesting process and provides valuable, unique and essential data to facilitate the e-commerce trade of the produce. It also gives farmers and other stakeholders in the chain futures trading data two weeks in advance.

In operations since 2021, the new funds will enable COOKO to scale up its process and solution, notably automating compliance towards pending EU and German legislation.

COOKO founder, Ferdi van Heerden, says the company's approach to artisanal agriculture is gaining momentum after they designed the national traceability system for Cameroon – the fourth largest cocoa producer in the world.

“By ramping up our owned-and-operated R&D facility in Cameroon’s cocoa heartland, COOKO has turned research and development into a cash-generating activity – where everyone earns, farmers first,” he said.

The startup touts itself as one which adds a digital click “at-source” to embed traceability data and ensures fairer payments to farmers and better systems data for the whole value chain.

“Operating in the nexus of “ESG data/ fintech/ sustainable-impact” places COOKO in a unique position to leverage multiple revenue streams and high-value data for growth. COOKO is changing the industry for good by doing well at source. This investment, in a difficult funding environment, is a vote of confidence in the idea and the industry demand for real innovation in agricultural value chains,” Van Heerden said.

Daily newsletter