Degas, Which Aims to Increase the Incomes of African Smallholder Farmers, Raises $7 Million to Further Strengthen Peripheral Businesses Using its Farmer Platform

December 13, 2023

Accelerating expansion into the climate tech and marketplace formation businesses. $16 million in total funding raised to date.

With a vision of “Changing people’s lives, dramatically”, Degas Ltd. (headquartered in Tokyo, CEO : Doga Makiura), a leading technology company financing smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa (hereinafter “Africa”),  announced today that it has secured an additional $7 million of funding in debt and equity.

Image displays Degas’ RA field with maize and its cobs (held by CEO, Doga)


■ Background and Purpose of Fund Raising

Degas has provided financing to a total of 46,000 smallholder farmers in Africa, a demographic that experiences difficulty in receiving loans from conventional financial institutions. Degas does this through its dual focus of boots-on-the-ground operations and robust proprietary technologies, as well as its mobile apps, AI-driven credit decisions, and data collection methodologies. This year, we have financed over 27,000 farmers, building one of Africa’s largest data-driven farmer networks. In order to develop businesses in Africa, a team of engineers based in Asia has been building a farmer management platform, including the development of a system that operates and syncs in near-real-time even in an unstable internet environment, designing a UI/UX that can be widely used by local communities with different cultures, and establishing a farmland analysis methodology using satellite data. With this new funding, Degas will expand its existing farmer-financing business and deploy the in-house developed platform to focus on (i) scaling up its climate tech businesses and (ii) marketplace formation businesses.

① Scaling Up the Climate Tech Businesses

Since 2022, Degas has been conducting projects in partnership with Nestlé with the aim of establishing an African-tailored method of regenerative agriculture (RA). Regenerative agriculture is a farming method that sequesters CO2 without reducing agricultural productivity by increasing its soil organic matter. Not only does this lower production costs by reducing the amount of fertilisers used, but it also generates a new source of income for smallholder farmers by creating high-integrity carbon credits. This year, Degas is implementing RA to 1,000 acres (400ha) of scattered farmland, the largest RA project done in Africa and developing countries to date.

Comprehensive quantification and verifications of the benefits of RA are underway, including soil surveys conducted by academic institutions and analysis using high-resolution satellite images provided in partnership with Planet. In addition, as teaching methodology is paramount for scaling RA, Degas is developing a chatbot with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to teach RA farming methodologies using a Large Language Model (LLM)

This additional funding will enhance our team by hiring experts in carbon credits and data analysis. This strategic move aims to significantly expand regenerative agriculture efforts and issue large-scale high-integrity carbon credits.

② Market formation businesses

Degas has started new businesses to provide financing opportunities through third-party organisations thereby bringing in additional income opportunities to our established farmer networks. This year, Degas partnered with a European microfinance institution to draw in loans for our farmers based on the credit score we generated. We also partnered with Fuji Oil Group to create a mechanism for farmers to earn additional income by contributing to the sustainable sourcing of shea nuts.

With this new funding, Degas seeks to broaden its product development, extending visualization of results and third-party opportunities to additional partners. Simultaneously, the company aims to establish a marketplace offering diverse products like school loans, agricultural machinery leasing, and smartphone contracts.

Comment from Doga Makiura, CEO of Degas Ltd.

“With the vision of ‘Changing people’s lives, dramatically’, Degas will continue to develop its businesses with the aim of increasing the income of smallholder farmers. With this new funding, Degas will invest more than ever before in new businesses to achieve exponential growth that makes the most of Degas’ uniqueness. Africa has been the most affected by climate change in the world. However, 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land is located here and has great CO2 sequestration potential through large-scale agriculture, farmer transformation or reforestation.

We will contribute to decarbonising the world from Africa, and at the same time help increase the incomes of smallholder farmers. We will break down the conventional wisdom of the tradeoff between simultaneously solving climate change and increasing farmer incomes. Thank you again to our incredible investors for joining the journey with us. No Challenge, No Life!”

We Are Hiring!

Degas is currently hiring in numerous positions from engineers to business development.
Job descriptions :
About the company :

About Degas

Company name : Degas Ltd./Degas Ghana Ltd.
Representative : Doga Makiura
HP :
Paid-in capital : 382 Million yen
Employees : 140

Contact Information

Enrique Miguel Lozari
PR & Marketing Officer
Degas Ghana Ltd.
+233 (0) 202 707 756

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