KENYA – SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investment, and ventures arm, has launched a B2B agritech marketplace that will benefit smallholder farmers in Kenya by supporting their e-commerce transactions.

Tawi, the B2B agritech marketplace, aims to provide farmers with a viable and consistent market, price transparency, and efficient supply chain management.

The platform will also connect farmers with commercial restaurant kitchens whose demand for horticultural products is estimated at 200 billion shillings (US$1.5 billion).

“Tawi will connect our farmers to an estimated Sh200 billion market opportunity. Through this platform, farmers will earn more for their products while also improving the supply chain efficiency of high-quality products to commercial clients,” said Cherotich Rutto, founder and CEO of Tawi.

“We are doing this by aggregating demand and simplifying the process for selling and buying fresh produce at a commercial scale.”

Tawi will also help farmers improve crop quality, and scale and make the food and agriculture value chain more sustainable by also sourcing fresh produce directly from farmers.

Since the beginning of the experimental phase last February, SC Ventures indicates that the platform already integrates more than 1,000 farmers, and 250 commercial kitchens and has already made more than 1,000 deliveries.

The venture arm of Standard Charted started incubating Tawi in 2022 to address some of the smallholder farmers’ challenges, such as the lack of viable marketplaces, which resulted in post-harvest losses, poor quality produce, fragmented supply chains due to inappropriate infrastructure and too many middlemen.

“We are delighted for the launch of Tawi, a FinTech that understands agriculture is more than just a business—it’s a way of life, rooted in community, hard work, and dedication,” said Jiten Arora, Member, SC Ventures.

“Like SC Ventures, Tawi believes in the power of partnerships to drive success and growth for partners and business.”

In the future, Tawi plans to embed financial services, including loans and micro-insurance, and value-added services, including offering agronomic support for best agricultural practices.

In February, SC Ventures entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Yabx, to enable the underserved with limited credit history to get fair access to financial services tailored to their needs.

Loans will be provided to customers for specific purposes like education and skill development using an innovative data-driven scoring and analytics engine that has been built with rich experience from African markets.

Africa has over 700 million mobile wallets, and about 450 million bank accounts, but access to formal credit remains constrained due to poor credit infrastructure and the slowly evolving risk appetite of financial services players, especially traditional banks.

The partnership between SC Ventures and Yabx is leveraging this to create what the companies describe as unique, Africa-specific products that will increase access to credit for the underbanked across Africa.

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