2020 has been a difficult year for all of us, no doubt, but Thrive Agric has made it even worse for so many of us. Many people invested in Thrive Agric's farms (poultry and crop) with hopes that at the end of their investment cycle, they would be better than they were. Some invested last year. Some invested this year.
At the beginning of this year, Thrive Agric started experiencing some internal challenges that they couldn't resolve.
They were owing some investors from last year and by March 2020 they had not paid up. This was before the pandemic! Yet, Thrive Agric continued to open their platform to more investors.
Many of us bought shares at Thrive Agric because they marketed themselves as a good investment option, and also with the promise that they were INSURED.
Asides the messages of hope on their website, several people with digital businesses vouched for Thrive Agric. These are people that we trusted as friends. Some of them knew Thrive Agric was moving into a financial challenge in March. But kept quiet. Thrive Agric, despite knowing their challenges, kept selling investments until April.
The farms have updates on the application/platform. They kept on giving us updates that the farms were doing fine. They kept on promising that the poultry was growing. They did photoshoot on farms. Meanwhile, in MAY 2020, Eje Uka, the CEO of Thrive Agric told investors with due payments in March 2020, that they were unable to pay because of offtakers. This means that there are people they have been owing SINCE MARCH!
What has Thrive Agric done to resolve the issue?
They did not send a mail to notify people. They did not make any announcements to that effect. They just pushed Charles Isidi to the front, to respond to DMs and tell people that they will get to them soon. They have been promising to get to investors since March.
In March and April, several other people opted for 6-month and 9-month short term investment with Thrive Agric, hoping to get their money back. We had students preparing for post-graduation crisis, we have a pregnant woman who is due in October, we have business people who took loans for their businesses and will lose their collateral if they don't get their money back. But Thrive Agric did not tell us anything. Not until about September 29, when agitations started increasing on social media. This is largely because investments made in March were now due for September, and those in April will be due in October. And so on.
How did Thrive Agric respond?
After several mails, texts, calls, messages, deleted social media comments, Thrive Agric finally sent a mail telling investors that we should wait for 12-24 months before we will get our money.
Thrive Agric is telling us to have wait for 1 to 2 years. Money that we need NOW!
From the updates gotten from the website, all our farms were sucessful and there was no mention of crop failure, we also have people who invested in Poultry, that is not a crop.
Based on the above, our group have met, and here is our decision.
There are two classes of investors:
A) Those whose funds are due and are yet to be paid
B) Those whose investments will be due soon
For those in class A, we are giving Thrive Agric a 5-day-ultimatum to pay us or face legal consequences.
For those in class B, we want a written and signed legal note from Thrive Agric that the investments expected will be paid immediately it is due without delay.
We currently have almost N50m with Thrive Agric and this is what we have decided.
We must mention however, that Thrive Agric, instead of addressing investors for over 6 months, they have consistently tried to silence investors instead.
They delete comments when you ask them on LinkedIn or Facebook. Their founders have stayed off Social Media, while they continue to update their website with all-is-well news. ALL IS NOT WELL AND YOU HAVE 5 DAYS TO RETURN OUR MONEY!
- Aggrieved Thrive Agric Investors (G36)