- Farmcrowdy launches Crowdyvest to provide impact-driven opportunities
- Opportunities will be open to both existing and new sponsors
- Opportunities geared towards meeting 17 United Nations SDGs
Foremost Agritech startup, Farmcrowdy Group, has launched Crowdyvest, a new platform aimed at providing impact-driven opportunities to its sponsors. On the Crowdyvest platform, investors or sponsors as they are called at Farmcrowdy will not only be connected to investment opportunities in agriculture but also in other key sectors of the economy like health, education, energy, transport, real estate etc.
By extending its successful business model into these other sectors, FarmCrowdy Group hopes to help achieve as much of the United Nation’s seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) while guaranteeing stable return on investments for its sponsors.
“We have been able to successfully implement a business model in one of the most challenging sectors in the world, driving growth in agriculture,” Founder and CEO of Crowdyvest, Onyeka Akumah said at the brand unveiling ceremony in Lagos.
With our model, we have connected over 25,000 farmers with access to funding, technical expertise and market access by continuously creating value for them and we now intend to implement this across other sectors of the economy while having a direct impact on the achievement of the United Nations SDGs.Onyeka Akumah, Founder and CEO of Crowdyvest
Onyeka Akumah also explained the key role Farmcrowdy sponsors will play in the new setting, indicating that Crowdyvest is more or less a response to the yearnings of these sponsors.
“Having looked at all the activities that happened with our sponsors, we decided to create this new platform called Crowdyvest. It is an impact-driven platform that will allow sponsors initially sponsoring only agriculture to have the opportunity to look at the United Nations SDGs and look at different opportunities that Crowdyvest will be presenting to these sponsors.”
Thus, beyond agricultural production and trading, Crowdyvest will be presenting opportunities in other sectors to its sponsors.
Impact-driven concept and businesses are quickly becoming a thing especially around developing countries because they are usually focused on solving one or several of the 17 developmental goals recognised by the United Nations. Thus, if tech and business is about looking for problems to solve, one needs not search further than the SDGs. This explains why the Farmcrowdy team believes the core of any Crowdyvest business is meeting a developmental goal.
“Every opportunity you find on Crowdyvest will be tied to the United Nations SDG goals,” Mr Onyeka said. “So if you find any opportunity, there must be an impact side to it. If it’s only for profit you will not see it on Crowdyvest. There must be an impact side of it, either it’s creating jobs, making life better for people, it’s providing homes, providing better education, providing food. And just the way we did it with Farmcrowdy we will do the same with Crowdyvest.”
Migrating its sponsors
While it is obvious that its existing sponsors will play a major role in this expansion, how they will be migrated to these other opportunities away from the original agrobusiness of Farmcrowdy might seem like a challenge. But Onyeka is however optimistic that since it is the same model which had worked very well for Farmcrowdy and which the sponsors have come to trust overtime, migrating them won’t be much of a problem.
“Just as we have built our model with Farmcrowdy, our sponsors will understand how they will integrate into Crowdyvest to do the same thing across these different portfolios. We brought over 500 of them and had conversations with them around what is happening from FarmCrowdy to Crowdyvest. What then happens is that, on the FarmCrowdy platform, all our sponsors, based on their acceptance, will be joining Crowdyvest to now sponsor those activities.”
With Farmcrowdy still having a lot to achieve as it looks at scaling in its core business of agro production and produce trading, one would not be wrong to assume that its major goal after above 2 years in existence should be planting its two feet firmly in the ground in its core business, not diversifying as it were. But Onyeka insists that the best time to explore other businesses, especially with SDG’s in mind, is now.
“We have had exciting sponsors that have asked us for more,” he said. “And based on the feedback we have had from our sponsors, we have decided to go ahead and provide more opportunities which is why we are moving to Crowdyvest to allow other businesses come up.”
The question of business expansion without team expansion
Although the idea behind Crowdyvest aimed at impacting the SDGs while creating investment opportunities seems like a lofty one, there still lingers the question of embarking on such an expansive journey with practically the same team from both Farmcrowdy and Farmgate merging as one.
The prospect of spreading the workforce thin and overworking it looks real enough. Onyeka however dispelled such doubts insisting that the deeper they go into the new venture the larger they intend to grow their team.
“The current founding team of Farmcrowdy will now function from crowdyvest to provide support services, not just for Farmcrowdy but also the other opportunities that we identify. As we are moving ahead we are hiring more people. We are not going to spread ourselves thin to that point where people are overstretched.”
He also announced a reshuffling of roles as he himself will move from the CEO of FarmCrowdy to its Chairman while assuming the mantle of CEO at Crowdyvest. Other co-founders remain as directors while Kenneth Obiajulu, former MD of Farmgate assumes the position of MD of FarmCrowdy.
With the company looking to diversify away form agriculture into other sectors of the economy, the task ahead of them appears pretty enormous. But the Crowdyvest team looks set to go the whole nine yards and the future looks pretty interesting for the new platform.
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