AgTech Startup Wefarm Secures New Financing Round

Wefarm, the world’s largest farmer-to-farmer digital network, has secured $5 million in additional seed funding, led by Silicon-Valley based True Ventures. Skype and Atomico Founder Niklas Zennström (angel investing in a personal capacity), WordPress Founder Matt Mullenweg, Blue Bottle Coffee CEO Bryan Meehan, and the Norrsken Foundation, have all joined the round, along with significant follow on investment from LocalGlobe and Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV).

Wefarm is the world’s first crowdsourced peer-to-peer network for offline communities. Over 500 million small-scale farmers produce over 70% of the world’s food and spend over $400 billion on farm inputs and other services, annually. Yet, they are often ignored by the global markets, services and leaders creating solutions to agricultural problems. Wefarm is reversing that reality by placing the voices of these farmers back into the heart of global agriculture.

Wefarm enables the world’s small-scale farmers – many of whom live in remote areas without access to the internet – to connect with one another to solve problems, share ideas, and spread innovation. Wefarm solves a very simple problem for these farmers – where to get help. With the world’s population projected to grow from seven to nine billion by 2050 and climate change showing no signs of abatement, alleviating pressures on the global food supply chain is paramount.

Through Wefarm, farmers can ask questions in their own language on anything related to agriculture, from battling a crop disease or an infestation of army worm, to best practices for growing cash crops such as maize, tomatoes, coffee and tea. Wefarm uses machine learning and the power of the crowd to source the very best content and knowledge from a network of over 660,000 farmers, even via SMS.

Wefarm is currently operating in Kenya and Uganda with plans to expand into other areas of Eastern and Sub-Saharan Africa imminently. It has a user retention rate of 90%  and more than 30% of farmers actively contribute their knowledge every month.

“We believe farmers are often the best and most relevant source of information and experience for other farmers,” said Kenny Ewan, Founder and CEO of Wefarm. “We’re proud to have created a network that empowers the close to one million farmers who use our service, and we’re excited to expand our reach and product capabilities this year.”

“Wefarm’s mission is incredible, and we’re ecstatic to support Kenny and his team,” said Jon Callaghan, co-founder of True Ventures. “The company democratizes technology, promotes the fluidity of information across an entire segment of the food supply, and helps farmers become more productive. Wefarm is the kind of movement True was designed for, and we are excited to empower this business and mission for the world.”

Wefarm will use this round of funding to develop commercial product offerings and build a new set of features. One such feature, which aligns with Wefarm’s belief in putting the farmer first, is Wefarm’s Project Farmlog – an interactive, “smart farming assistant” that works even on feature phones. It will use machine learning to intelligently support farmers both throughout the growing season and also with their livestock, based on the questions they have asked.

“We invested in Wefarm because their innovative solution helps to achieve the United Nation’s sustainable development goals,” said Anna Ryott, Deputy CEO of the Norrsken Foundation. “It enables small farmers to become more efficient, thereby directly contributing to the eradication of hunger and poverty.”

Wefarm’s data models will be able to track and predict keys issues, such as disease, ripening periods, shortages, drought, soil conditions, farm characteristics and many other vital supply chain issues. With this data, businesses can improve supply chain management and security, evaluate key trends and challenges, and increase sustainability and transparency.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “AgTech Startup Wefarm Secures New Financing Round

Africa/Middle East

Zimbabwe-flag
Africa/Middle East

Zimbabwe’s New Government Pushes to Strengthen Agriculture

The new government in Zimbabwe has unveiled new plans, including a land tenure review plan and agricultural crop subsidies to

Pyrethrum flowers
Africa/Middle East

Pyrethrum Comeback Afoot in East Africa

Governments in East Africa are renewing efforts to revive the ailing pyrethrum subsector in order to bring back the bloom

Africa/Middle East

Eurofins Adds Field Base and Two Satellite Bases in Morocco

New for 2018 is EAS Groups field base in Morocco – from the main facility in Meknes, based in the

Africa/Middle East

Bayer Closes Monsanto Acquisition

Bayer successfully completed the acquisition of Monsanto on Thursday. Shares in the U.S. company will no longer be traded on

Africa/Middle East

Bayer Plans Closing of Monsanto Acquisition on June 7

Bayer plans to complete the acquisition of Monsanto on June 7, following the receipt of all required approvals from regulatory

pheromone-based-innovation-combats-tuta-absoluta-in-tomatoes
Africa/Middle East

Affinity in East Africa: Marrone Bio Innovations Finds Harmonious Partner in Kenya Biologics

Farmers in East Africa are set to benefit from a wide range of zero-residue biopesticides that will help to increase

Africa/Middle East

Zimbabwe’s New Government Pushes to Strengthen Agriculture

With Mugabe out, the push for increased agricultural production by the new government has opened new business opportunities for planting seed material suppliers and agchem manufacturers.

Africa/Middle East

Zambia’s AGCO Enters Retail Finance Partnership

The new partnership between AGCO, its national distributor BHBW Zambia Limited and the Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc (Zanaco) will provide retail financial solutions for farmers purchasing machinery.

Fall-Armyworm-Photo-CABI
Africa/Middle East

Fall Armyworm a Serious Threat to Sub-Sarahan African Food Security in 2018

Once considered a pest plaguing only North and South America, the fall armyworm (FAW) arrived in Africa in force in

Africa/Middle East

Staphyt Opens Experimental Station in Morocco

Agrosciences and regulatory CRO Staphyt announced it opened its first phytosanitary experimental station in Meknes, Morocco in March.

Fall-Armyworm-corn-Kenya
Africa/Middle East

Sub-Saharan Africa: Time for a Paradigm Shift to Sustainable Farming Practices

Farming in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has remained fairly conventional over the years and involves intensive use of synthetic chemicals and

African-Smallholder-Farmers
Africa/Middle East

VisionFund International Offers Climate Insurance Initiative for African, Asian Farmers

More than 690,000 families totaling up to four million people living in six low-income countries stand to benefit from a

Africa/Middle East

Bancella Expands African Footprint

Bancella Ltd., headquartered in Mauritius, has taken another step in growing the footprint in Africa by taking what is described

Wilson-Kyalo-Chairman-of-Wilson-Kyalo-Chairman-of-the-LEDCA-alliance-has-built-his-dairy-farm-from-one-cow-to-100-cows-over-40-years
Africa/Middle East

Kenya Dairy Industry Sheds Light on Market Challenges, Opportunities

In December, I had the privilege to serve as a volunteer consultant with the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program in Kenya.

Africa-Kenya
Africa/Middle East

Eastern African Nations Move to Harmonize Fertilizer Regulations

Eastern Africa countries are working to harmonize the region’s fertilizer market, a move that could improve not only demand for

wheat-field
Africa/Middle East

Changing the Narrative: It’s Not Just About Yield

For years now when someone outside the industry asks what I do, I give them the “elevator speech,” the 30-second

maize-crop-Africa
Africa/Middle East

Counterfeits Disrupt Uganda’s Agrichemicals Market

The outbreak of the Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) in East Africa in late 2016, particularly in landlocked Uganda, and the

BRANDT-Tunisia-Ag
Africa/Middle East

BRANDT Expands Relationship with Solagri Tunisia

BRANDT, a leading manufacturer of specialty products for the agriculture market, has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Solagri Tunisia

Sanjay Sethi
Africa/Middle East

Sanjay Sethi, Phoenix Group Honored with Sustainable Initiatives Award

During the recently held Meet the Farmers Conference 2017 at the Waldorf Astoria, Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, Sanjay Sethi, Director

Latest News

Americas

CropLife America Names Corteva’s Wasson as Chair

Wasson will hold the position for two years and use her diverse background to help guide the association, working with newly hired President and CEO Chris Novak.

Events

Agricultural Robotics Take Center Stage at FIRA 2018

The future of agricultural innovation will continue to rely heavily on collaboration and exchange of ideas among all industry players.

Agrichemicals

What to Do If You Have Products Subject to New U.S. Tariffs

The new retaliation lists hit almost every product that the Chinese import from the U.S.

Industry News

China: We’ll Retaliate Against New U.S. Tariffs

China said on Tuesday that it had no choice but to retaliate against new U.S. trade tariffs, raising the risk

Plant Health

Soil Holds the Secret to Mitigating Climate Change

Food production doesn’t have to be a victim of climate change. New research from Michigan State University suggests that crop