Last week Wefarm announced its latest investment round, $5M in seed funding led by True Ventures to continue the rapid expansion of its network amongst rural farming communities. It also marks our first follow-on investment.
Kenny Ewan (founder and CEO) and his team have built a platform which boasts some staggering metrics, empowering well over 670,000 farmers by giving them access to invaluable knowledge about their livelihood, all without paying a fee or needing the internet.
Currently in operation in Kenya and Uganda, Wefarm already has user retention rates of 90% and of the registered farmers, 30% contribute monthly. Plans are to expand across Eastern and Sub-Saharan Africa. The platform is able to produce high quality content despite users communicating via SMS and in different languages.
Since we first met Wefarm, the company’s growth has been outstanding with almost 10 times the users and some really important hires. There are two billion people globally that live and work on small farms, Wefarm is on a mission to ensure all of the can benefit from the network. As a patient venture investor we exist to source and support companies with this long term ambition to solve global challenges.
The next feature is Project Farmlog (placeholder name) which offers a step-by-step guide to help farmers increase productivity. It will be able to look at factors such as soil type, weather and location to suggest the optimal growing plan for a specific crop. Throughout the growing season it will dynamically adjust to suit a specific situational context, delivering custom personalised recommendations.
Kenny’s ability to imagine the future and articulate the strategic milestones needed to get there are the markers of a potentially generation-defining entrepreneur. More than 72 million messages have now been shared via SMS through Wefarm’s platform and it’s no surprise that a top-tier investor – recently named VC of the year in the US – is leading this round.
After an introduction from our Chairman Keith, Jon Callaghan (managing partner at True Ventures) felt the excitement:
“Like all great meetings and pitches, this “crazy” and audacious idea took hold, and I literally couldn’t stop thinking about the power and impact of Wefarm’s mission.”
As well as follow-on investment from ourselves and Local Globe, Niklas Zennström (Skype and Atomico Founder, angel investing in a personal capacity), Matt Mullenweg (WordPress Founder), Bryan Meehan (Blue Bottle Coffee CEO) and the Norrsken Foundation have also invested as part of this round.
Over 500 million small-scale farmers produce over 70 percent of the world’s food. The world’s population is projected to grow to nine billion by 2050 and the climate around us is changing rapidly, so alleviating pressures on the global food supply chain is paramount to us all. Wefarm has the potential to define a generation and we’re really excited to be supporting the team.
We’re always looking for founders like Kenny and companies like Wefarm. Ambitious, globally minded entrepreneurs and looking to scale big. If that sounds like you, register on our platform and tell us how you see the future: https://accelerated.ventures/apply/