Wefarm, the digital network for global small-scale agriculture, has raised US$13mn in a Series A financing round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm True Ventures
This financing round will help Wefarm further scale its network of 1.9 million farmers, and its newly created Marketplace, to connect farmers in Africa, even those without internet access, to the information, products and services they need to be more successful. Investing alongside True Ventures are AgFunder and June Fund, among others. The company received significant follow-on investment from LocalGlobe, ADV and Norrsken Foundation.
Founded in 2015, Wefarm is on a mission to create a global eco-system for small-scale agriculture. With more than one billion people directly involved in small-scale farming, it is the biggest industry in the world. Wefarm is building a 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. 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 per cent 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$1mn 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.
With Marketplace sales growing at more than 40 per cent month on month, the business is on a rapid growth trajectory. Over the next 12 months, it aims to diversify into supporting farmers with both financing and delivery, as well as enabling them to trade the commodities and crops they grow, with the goal of becoming a key part of the global supply chain on behalf of the farmer.
Wefarm CEO and Founder Kenny Ewan said, “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.”
“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 produce. The combination of the two has limitless potential to influence and fight the major agricultural crisis we face.”