It was joy all around as formerly embattled agritech startup, Thrive Agric, shared that it has paid all the returns owed to crowd funders on its platform.
Remember some eight months back in September 2020, the agritech platform was heavily accused by irate investors of not settling their returns thus constituting a breach of contract.
Investors opened up to Technext about their unpaid capital as well as returns on the farm ventures they partnered with on the platform. People claimed that they had not been paid even though their investments matured for more than 4 months.
The financial challenges. however, were a result of the economic downturn caused when the covid-19 pandemic hit Nigeria.
In a chat with TechNext, the startup clarified that in April, business started to slow down for its partners who produce frozen chicken. This was because supermarkets in Lagos, Abuja and Portharcourt were shut down and they were not getting the same sales volumes as they normally got.
The hullabaloo resulted in the CEO and Founder, Uka Eje, stepping down to become the Chief Operations Officer. In his stead, Adia Sowho, the ex-VP for Growth at Migo, became the interim CEO.
The company promised to pay back its investors by March 2021 or at the latest, April 2021. Its announcement today shows that it has made good on its promise.
In a tweet on its official handle, the startup said, “We are happy to announce to you all that Thrive Agric has fully completed all payments due to all the crowd funders on our platform. We say a big thank you to all our subscribers for their patience and understanding through a hard time.”
Investors and members of the general public reacted to Thrive Agric’s announcement. While some congratulated them for weathering the storm, others enjoined defaulting agritech startups to emulate their example.
In the wake of its tweet, a few people indicated that the company has earned their trust with the way it handled the matter. Obinna Nwachuya tweeted, “Tried, tested, insulted and pushed to the wall, yet Thrive Agric has shown resilience, persistence and strength. They’ve earned my respect, trust and business.”
Another person, Everest Nwagwu said, “This is how you run a business: with communication and well-set out timelines. You guys met it ALL. I am happy and I know you guys worked hard for this, and for doing this, the only agro investment platform from now on is Thrive Agric.”
Giving his vote of confidence in the startup, Fred Usulor said, “I’m still willing to invest with you guys anytime.”
As the company continues to find its feet back and speed up its operations, the reception of this news shows a larger percentage of relief from investors whose monies have been returned. There is also some measure of confidence especially because of the transparent process. The road back to its former glory and beyond may not be so far off, after all.
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