Kenyan peer-to-peer farming information platform, WeFarm, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding in a round led by venture capital firm LocalGlobe. And that’s not all, the company also reached a milestone of over 100,000 farmers on its platform.
WeFarm is an SMS-based platform that enables farmers share farming information and tips without access to the internet. For instance, a farmer in Peru can post a question concerning her poultry and receive an answer in minutes from another farmer in Uganda, all via SMS.
Speaking on his firm’s motivation for investing in WeFarm, LocalGlobe partner Saul Klein said, “We believe that this network, whether delivered on feature or smart phones, will, over time, become an important channel for farmers into the wider food supply chain. We are thrilled that WeFarm has reached over 100,000 farmers and look forward to working with Kenny and his team.”
WeFarm was founded in January 2015 by Kenny Ewan and Claire Rhodes and it currently has over 100,000 farmers across Kenya, Uganda and Peru who are sharing more than 15 million pieces of information.
“The majority of information delivered to people living in poverty is top-down, whereas we are using a 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 even half that number,” says CEO, Kenny Ewan.
WeFarm aims to reduce the strain on the global food by supplying farmers with much-needed information. It plans to use the funding to reach more farmers in Africa.