Thrive Agric: Investors cry foul play over delayed returns


Thrive Agric, a Nigerian agric investment startup, which pays returns on seasonal investments, is in the centre of an online protest, as customers say they can’t withdraw their investments and are not getting returns.

Backstory

On October 2nd, a Thrive Agric customer known on Twitter as theprincelyX, took to the social media platform and called out to the company for holding on to his investments. He claimed the company owes him almost a million naira, and he has been told to wait till next year to see returns on his investments.

He detailed his plight in a long thread titled ‘THRIVE AGRIC: ANOTHER PONZI SCHEME OR BAD BUSINESS?’

“Thrive Agric is owing me almost a million naira. They are owing other investors millions. Thrive Agric is telling me to wait till 2021 to get my investment that was due in Sept 2020.”

He added that at the beginning of the year, he planned to invest some of his savings and was referred to Thrive Agric by his peers, who advised him to take the 6 moths investment option with Agric Invest.

He said he invested N510,000 in March and N200,000 in April and expecting a combined N805,000 by October.

“I did not receive any information, I texted them on WhatsApp in the morning for clarification on payment, and didn’t get a reply until 4 pm.”

He said he was in touch with a Manager on Twitter who tried to calm the situation, and after a few days, “they sent a mail saying they will pay us in 12 months. If I wanted a 1-year investment, I know where to keep my money. But I needed this money back in 6 Months.”

He disclosed Thrive Agric told him they will pay old investors first, then use the balance left to reinvest and pay other investors.

“Basically, a pyramid payment format; they are telling some investors to wait till 2022. Thrive Agric is trying to use COVID-19 as an excuse; meanwhile, they have been owing since March, before the lockdown.This means that people who invested late last year are still being owed. If they are owing those people, what’s the assurance that they’ll pay us? NONE,” he said.

He also disclosed that on the online platforms, Thrive Agric had been giving them updates on the good performance of the farm, only to come out on September 29 to say that the farms weren’t performing anymore.

“Thrive Agric is also preventing investors from airing their anger online. Their Admins/staff/friends have locked their Twitter accounts, to avoid accountability. Why do we deserve this?!!!” 

Thrive Agric’s response

The company said in a social media statement that the delay “is an unfortunate outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequent restrictions on physical access to farms and farming markets. Like many other businesses, we were not fully prepared for the impact, and despite the intent upon which this company has been run for the last 3 years, our subscribers now bear the brunt of these challenges with us.”

They said they want to pass 3 main messages to their investors.

“First, to once again express our deepest apologies to our subscribers, whose payouts are delayed. Secondly, to share our plans to resolve this issue. Thirdly, to reassure you that Thrive Agric remains a viable business that Nigeria needs. Last week, we communicated timelines for repayment to our subscribers of up to 24 months, depending on the specifics of their subscriptions. We expect to payout before the committed due date, but in the past, we have been aggressive in our expectations and not met them.”

 

BottomLine:

The COVID-19 economic lockdown is a major blow to Nigeria’s economy, even the farming industry wasn’t spared. According to the recent GDP report, Agriculture grew by over just 1%, and Thrive Agric’s statements about losing the harvest due to economic hardship is a sign of the disruptions the lockdowns caused in the sector.

This could also discourage Nigerians from investing their savings with Agric Investment firms, and stick to Fintechs like RiseVest and BambooVest that invest Nigerian naira savings in US equity, Bonds, and Real estate markets.

Source: Nairametrics

Post views in 5 minutes: 0 views

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*