The Situation

Farmers and pastoralists in Kenya struggle to access quality inputs, services, and reliable knowledge to improve the productivity, security, and profitability of their livestock and crops. Approximately 60% of inputs in Kenya are substandard or counterfeit, and 85% of retailers are unqualified, making it hard for farmers to get the inputs and knowledge they need to farm successfully.



The Roadblock

In the Spring of 2017, a UK-based animal nutrition company expressed interest in investing in Sidai. Conversations progressed and Sidai was on track to close the round of equity investment in early 2018.

The investor required financing from European Investment Bank (EIB), however due to the likely departure of the UK from the EU, the EIB financing could not be closed. To be eligible for EIB financing, the UK-based investor needed to set up a company in Ireland.

In addition a second strategic investor expressed interest in investing in the company but pulled out after 4 months of discussions, which further delayed the conclusion of the investment.

The delay in committed funding as its investor secured EIB financing, threatened Sidai’s business and impact.



Open Road's Response

In June 2018, Open Road provided Sidai with a $250,000 bridge loan to enable them to continue their work as their UK-investor established a company in Ireland and got the legal documents in place to secure EIB financing.

The loan allowed Sidai to continue serving hundreds of farmers and pastoralists across Kenya and continue building towards plans to scale across Africa. Open Road was fully repaid by the UK animal nutrition company at the end of December 2018 as the final deal structure was agreed between all parties and legal documents completed.

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