NIGERIA – Winich Farms, Nigeria based food solutions provider and inventory supplier, has raised US$790,000 in a seed funding round from Founders Factory Africa and other angel investor groups.

Founded in 2019, the agritech start-up has revolutionised the farm-to-retail industry by using technology to cut out middlemen and improve the farm produce distribution and supply chain.

Winich Farms connects farmers directly to off-takers i.e., small retailers and factories, streamlining the buying and selling process between the parties. It ensures settlement of the transactions within 24 hours.

By cutting off the middlemen, farmers recoup their profit, while small to medium-sized merchants and enterprises are able to function more efficiently as a result of simple access to products.

Winich Farms’ approach also reduces food waste, improves food quality and enhances distribution efficiency at affordable costs.

The company has also tackled traceability issues through the use of WhatsApp live location of drivers, which off-takers use to trace their goods on transit.

 With the launch of a mobile app, this tracking feature will be directly incorporated onto the platform.

Winich is also planning to introduce a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) service to support the retailers and also provide access to inventory insurance for its users.

The clinched investment will enable the startup to expand its network that currently stands at 29,000 active food producers, delivering 127 tonnes of product from fields to companies every day.

As of January 2022, Winich Farms has registered a transaction volume of US$17.1 million over 461 agents/collection centres serving 500+ retail groups and informal processors in 8 locations.

According to the company co-founder and CEO, Riches Attai, “We intend to leverage our strengths and resources to innovate for new product categories and customer segments while solving complex supply chain problems with simple solutions.”

West Africa is experiencing its worst food crisis in years. With 27 million people already going hungry, the number of starving people is expected to rise to 38 million by end of the year, reports Techcabal.

Agritech startups have arisen to solve the looming problems, raising US$115.4 million in funding so far, channelled towards providing digital solutions to financial and other agriculture-related problems.

2 African agri-business challenges launched

In other related news, the Global Alliance Innovation Exchange (iX) challenge, delivered by Innovate UK KTN Global Alliance Africa, is supporting a large agri-based manufacturing company in Kenya to identify innovative solutions to two significant and immediate challenges that they face.

Global Alliance Innovation Exchange is an Innovate UK KTN programme specially designed to help UK and international organisations search for game-changing solutions to innovation challenges.

KTN has run over 130 innovation challenges across the world, including five challenges in Africa so far.

Two East African challenges are now open, and the winning applicants will each receive up to GBP25,000 (US$30,000) seed funding to work on a solution for these specific challenges in collaboration with the challenge holder.

The first Challenge is seeking innovative solutions to prevent crop damage caused by migrating birds. The second is seeking affordable and easy-to-maintain solutions for sorghum grain threshing. Both close on July 8.

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