In the series A funding round led by Silicon Valley risk capital company True Ventures, with the involvement of AgFunder and June Fund among others, Wefarm, a virtual network for international, small-scale agriculture based in London, raises € 11.7 million.
This funding round will help Wefarm further expand its 1.9 million farmers network and newly-established market to connect farmers in Africa to the data, products and services they need to run their business effectively, including those without internet access.
Wefarm is aiming to build the global small-scale farming ecosystem that began in 2015. It is the world’s largest sector, with more than a billion people working directly in small-scale agriculture. For these farmers, Wefarm builds a network of trust. The Wefarm Marketplace give farmers easy access by trustworthy retailers and brands to quality products and services, including seeds, fertilizers as well as to a range of other non-agricultural products.
According to the bottom-up model by Wefarm, Wefarm users have recommended all goods, services and retailers on the platform and can even be purchased via SMS.
Smallholder farmers lose much time and money because of fake or bad farm products, In part due to this, farm yields in many parts of Africa are just one-fifth of farm yield in the United States or Europe. For plants and animals the growth of bad seeds and fertilizers even limits their potential and since smallholder farmers produce about 70 percent of food worldwide, Wefarm is planning to use its technology to reduce the gap in supply.
Wefarm CEO and Founder Kenny Ewan predicts that the marketplace of the network will become an extensive smallholder ecosystem.
If we are able to encourage 100 million farmers to work together on one platform, we will change global farming and commerce radically to their benefit, and this financing round will take us even closer to achieving this dream for improved farm yields, Ewan said .
“To support human intelligence, it’s about harnessing AI. Our trust network helps farmers by sharing knowledge to solve problems, at the same time, the competition will provide them with access to quality products that help them to produce better. The synthesis of these two can have infinite impact and counter the major agricultural crisis facing us.
Jon Callaghan, co-founderof True Ventures, stated: “We’re incredibly motivated by the way the Kenny and the Wefarm team empowered global farmers and we’re looking at great potential for their future.
“The enterprise is not only strong, but the impressive growth in the Wefarm marketplace shows exciting business opportunities that will bind farmers more to what they need in the food supply chain for the good of all. It’s a large, multinational enterprise, “he said.