The founders of Skype and WordPress are among investors who have awarded agritech firm Wefarm £3.5 million in additional seed funding.
London-based Wefarm is a network which enables 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.
The fund round was led by Silicon-Valley based True Ventures and included Skype and Atomico founder Niklas Zennström, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, Blue Bottle Coffee CEO Bryan Meehan and the Norrsken Foundation.
Existing investors LocalGlobe and Accelerated Digital Ventures contributed further funds.
“We believe farmers are often the best and most relevant source of information and experience for other farmers,” said Wefarm founder and CEO Kenny Ewan.
“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.”
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.
Farmers can use Wefarm to 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.
The platform 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.
The company currently operates in Kenya and Uganda and has plans to expand into other areas of Eastern and Sub-Saharan Africa imminently.
It has a user retention rate of 90 per cent and more than 30 per cent of farmers actively contribute their knowledge every month.
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