AFRICA – Wefarm, the digital network for global small-scale agriculture, has announced that it has raised US$13 million in a Series A financing round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm True Ventures.
Jon Callaghan, co-founder of True Ventures while commenting on his company’s investment in Wefarm said, “We are enormously inspired by how Kenny and the Wefarm team have empowered the world’s farmers, and we see great potential for their future.”
This financing round according to Wefarm will help it further scale its network of 1.9 million farmers, and its newly created Marketplace.
Wefarm aims to connect farmers in Africa, even those without internet access, to the information, products and services they need to be more successful.
Other notable investors funding Wefarm’s expansion drive include AgFunder and June Fund. The company also received significant follow-on investment from LocalGlobe, ADV and Norrsken Foundation.
Wefarm which was founded in 2015 is on a mission to create a global eco-system for small-scale agriculture.
Currently, more than 1 billion people are directly involved in small-scale farming making it is the biggest industry in the world and Wefarm is building the network of trust for those farmers.
Wefarm Marketplace allows farmers to easily access quality products and services, such as seeds, fertilizers and a range of other non-agricultural items from trusted retailers and brands.
Wefarm CEO and Founder Kenny Ewan believes the platform’s Marketplace will grow into an expansive ecosystem for smallholder farmers.
“If we can inspire 100 million farmers to work together on one platform, we can fundamentally shift global agriculture and trade in their favour, and this round of funding will take us even closer to bringing this vision for improved farm yields into fruition,” said Ewan.
In line with Wefarm’s bottom-up model, all products, services and retailers on the platform have been recommended by Wefarm users and can even be purchased through SMS.
Disproportionally, smallholder farmers lose too much time and money due to fake or faulty agricultural products.
Farm yields in many parts of Africa are just one-fifth of farm yield in the United States or Europe. Poor-quality seeds and fertilisers also limit growth in plants and animals.
Given that smallholder farmers grow roughly 70 percent of the world’s food, Wefarm intends to use its technology to help close this yield gap.
The company’s funding announcement coincides with another notable growth milestone of reaching US$1 million in total sales from the Wefarm Marketplace in just eight months since launch; that’s faster growth than both Amazon and eBay in their early stages.