The peer-to-peer service founded in 2015, WeFarm has achieved tremendous growth, with numerous awards under their belt, including the Google Impact Challenge Award in 2014. Originally developed as a project by the Cafedirect Producers Foundation (CPF), they spotted the potential to scale WeFarm as a mission-driven business.
This potential has now grown in to a 100,000 user platform, which has now secured a 1.3 million pounds in seed funding. This round of funding is led by LocalGlobe, a UK-based venture capital firm focused on seed investing. Their other investments include, Citymapper, Lovefilm, Moo, TweetDeck, Transferwise and Zoopla. This funding will go towards bringing further benefits of WeFarm to thousands of new farmers.
With around 500 million small-scale farmers around the world providing over 70% of the world's food, a massive 90% have no access to the internet, which leaves them isolated with no access to basic agricultural information and new ideas. As the world's population increases, now heading towards 9 million by 2050 and climate change a very real reality, with increased pressures on the global food supply chain. This has a massive impact on farmers and businesses without access to problem-solving technologies and data, which could potentially leave them behind.
To combat this WeFarm has developed a peer-to-peer mobile network which enables small-scale to access crowdsourced information and advice from other farmers, even when offline. By sending a free SMS, farmers can receive accurate answers to any agricultural enquiries. The service uses machine learning technology to connect incoming questions to those users on the system who have the most relevant knowledge. Topics discussed on the network range from how to stop baby chicks from dying to where to find a market to sell onions.
WeFarm Founder & CEO, Kenny Ewan, said, “Connecting farmers to relevant advice from other farmers is a completely new approach. The majority on information delivered to people living in poverty is top-down, whereas we are using crowdsourcing model to unlock generations worth of grassroots knowledge, ideas, and experience among farmers. This is why WeFarm has already secured more than 100,000 registered members in an industry where less than 0.1% of mobile apps ever reach half that number.”
WeFarm also secures £1.3m in seed round led by LocalGlobe
WeFarm enables small-scale farmers to access crowdsourced advice without internet
More than 100,000 farmers now use the service across Kenya, Uganda and Peru, with more signing up daily
Investment round led by LocalGlobe, founded by former Index Ventures partners Robin and Saul Klein
WeFarm’s fundraise bolsters the fast-growing UK agtech sector, worth an estimated GBP 14.3 billion according to the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills
LocalGlobe partner Saul Klein said, “WeFarm is building and empowering a community of farmers, dramatically improving their experience of obtaining advice. In doing so, WeFarm has created an SMS and web-based network that's enjoying real user growth and engagement.”
WeFarm generates revenue by supplying actionable insights to businesses, NGO's and governments. The impact of this data can be of great significance in the fight to eradicate world poverty and hunger in the developing world.
Head on over WeFarm to find out more.