WeFarm, a peer-to-peer agriculture tech startup, has secured £1.3 million in Seed funding in a round led by Robin and Saul Klein’s VC firm LocalGlobe. The inflow of money will be used to expand WeFarm’s user base, giving more small-scale farmers access to vital agricultural information which can be reached offline.
With WeFarm, users can send a free SMS in order to receive answers to any agricultural queries. The service makes use of machine learning to connect incoming questions to those users already on the system who have the most relevant knowledge. Their goal is to facilitate knowledge sharing in the global agricultural community, especially amongst farmers living in rural areas without internet access. Born out of Wayra UK’s accelerator in London, WeFarm currently boasts more than 100,000 farmers across Kenya, Uganda and Peru registered on its platform.
Kenny Ewan, WeFarm founder and CEO, said,
Connecting farmers to relevant advice from other farmers is a completely new approach. 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.
LocalGlobe partner Saul Klein, commenting on the fund raise said,
WeFarm is building and empowering a community of farmers, dramatically improving their experience of obtaining advice. In doing so, WeFarm has created an SMS and web-based network that’s enjoying real user growth and engagement. 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.
Today, the platform claims to have witnessed a total of 100,000 unique answers being given, and 5,600,000 interactions processed within the small-farming community. This latest funding round brings them a step closer to their ambitions to “fundamentally change the way half the world’s population access and share information.”