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Africa-focused weather forecasting company raises US$1.1m funding

Africa-focused weather forecasting company raises US.1m funding

Swedish weather forecasting company Ignitia, which has operations in Ghana, Mali and Nigeria, has raised US$1.1m in Series A funding to expand its presence on the continent.

Ignitia claims to be the world's most accurate tropical weather forecasting platform, and works in West Africa to provide hyper-local weather forecasts for over 450 000 active subscribers, mostly smallholder farmers.

Its forecasts are delivered via SMS, and have an accuracy of 84% for areas as small as 3 km².

The company has partnered with some of the major telecommunication companies in the region, including MTN Ghana and Nigeria's 9mobile, to pinpoint a customer's location in order to provide personalised weather predictions and enable farmers to make better informed decisions.

Ignitia has now announced it has concluded its Series A round, landing US$1.1 million at a valuation of US$11 million. Silicon Valley-based investment firm Hack VC led the round, with participation from FINCA Ventures and the Norrsken Foundation.

The investment will be used to focus on expanding Ignitia's presence in Nigeria with a focus on partnerships with the agricultural supply chain. Hack VC managing director Ed Roman said the company was proud to be partnering with Ignitia.

"The mission-driven culture and societal impact of the organisation resonates strongly with us. It's a great example of what can be accomplished when you blend of social entrepreneurship with a venture scale opportunity," he said.

Partner Tom Chi said Ignitia was a rare company for both the quality of science it undertook and for having used those breakthroughs to serve some of the world's most disadvantaged populations.

"There are more than 500 million small landholder farms, and Ignitia is helping them to save money on inputs, grow healthier crops, and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. I'm excited both for Ignitia as a company and for the example it sets for others about what is possible from working closely with new communities to solve world-calibre problems," he said.

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