Wefarm, a farmer to farmer digital network, has raised $13 million in a Series A funding drive to help expand its digital network of small-scale farmers in Africa.
The funding round was led by Silicon Valley’s True Ventures with participation from AgFunder, June Fund, and previous investors LocalGlobe, ADV and Norrsken Foundation, among others.
Speaking on the fund, Wefarm CEO and Founder, Kenny Ewan said the round of funding will help take them closer to improving farm yields.
“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.”Kenny Ewan, Wefarm CEO and Founder
Jon Callaghen, co-founder of True Ventures said he was inspired by how the Wefarm team has empowered the world’s farmers. He added, that impressive growth of Wefarm’s Marketplace demonstrates exciting new commercial opportunities.
“We see great potential for their future. The company is not only impact-driven, but the impressive growth of the Wefarm Marketplace demonstrates exciting commercial opportunities that will connect those farmers to more of what they need to the benefit of all, across the food supply chain. This is a big, global business.”Jon Callaghen, co-founder of True Ventures
Wefarm plans to expand its network of trusted farmers by using the funds raised to vet local suppliers to help them connect with farmers and the wider ecosystem for goods and services that they might need.
How does Wefarm work?
Founded in 2015, Wefarm is a digital marketplace that allows farmers to easily access quality products like seeds, fertilizers and a range of other non-agricultural items from trusted retailers and brands.
Wefarm employs a bottom-up model where all products, services and retailers on the platform are recommended by Wefarm users. Currently, it reportedly has about 1.9 million farmers on its network.
To make purchase easy and accessible to farmers in remote regions, products and services can be done through SMS.
The recent round coincides with the marketplace reaching a milestone of $1 million in total sales. Also, the Wefarm marketplace has reported a 40 per cent monthly increase and plans to diversify into supporting farmers with both financing and delivery within the next 12 months.
Ewan believes that by using Artificial Intelligence and the network of farmers the marketplace can provide first-rate products to help deliver better produce.
“It’s about harnessing AI to champion human intelligence. Our network of trust empowers farmers to find solutions to problems by knowledge sharing. In tandem, the marketplace will give them access to first-rate products that help to deliver better products. The combination of the two has limitless potential to influence and fight the major agricultural crisis we face.”Kenny Ewan, Wefarm CEO and Founder
Smallholder farmers grow roughly 70% of the world’s food. Poor-quality seeds and fertilisers limit growth in plants and animals affecting the quality of farm produce. Largely due to this, farm yields in Africa is about a fifth of those in Europe.
By saving farmers time and money, Wefarm is creating a global ecosystem for small-scale agriculture and has plans to reach over a billion people directly involved in small-scale farming.
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