Wefarm Expands Platform Connecting the World’s Small-Scale Farmers
With an additional $11 million in capital, Wefarm will offer millions of farmers stronger knowledge sharing and commerce opportunities
LONDON, United Kingdom – March 9th, 2021 – The world’s largest platform for small-scale farmers will expand its SMS service into an online platform, following an $11 million Series A-Plus round. Since 2015, Wefarm has provided 2.5 million farmers with a free, AI-driven SMS tool to connect them with each other and a trusted marketplace. This platform expansion marks a new moment of connectivity for hundreds of millions of farmers worldwide.
The round was led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from new and existing investors, including True Ventures, Rabo Frontier Ventures, LocalGlobe, June Fund and AgFunder. This round of investment brings Wefarm’s total funding to $32 million.
Over the last few years, Wefarm’s model has become more important than ever. The platform is enabling farmers who are vital for the world’s food production to connect with one another and leverage the power of their community. Using Wefarm, millions of farmers can combine their knowledge and buying power as they tackle global challenges that are impacting their yields such as climate change, limited soil fertility and growing demands for food worldwide.
Wefarm’s platform enables farmers to connect to their community, so they can know more, buy smarter, and sell better. To date, 2.5 million farmers have connected with one another for free and without access to the internet via the Wefarm SMS platform. The company pioneered this offline technology for the market in 2015. Over 37 million knowledge-sharing conversations have taken place on the Wefarm SMS service, while the marketplace has generated $29,000,000 in sales. The online expansion of the SMS service features a forum-based platform. This will enable farmers to work together to solve problems, support each other, and aggregate their buying and selling power to change the global supply chain.
This investment enables Wefarm to supercharge the development of its online platform and marketplace, so it can continue to connect farmers to the knowledge and resources they need to succeed at scale.
“Wefarm is building the definitive platform and network for the world’s biggest vertical,” said Wefarm Founder and CEO, Kenny Ewan. “This is perhaps the largest community on Earth and yet it’s been vastly underserved by tech. Today, the community is ready to expand into an online space with us. We have years of learnings and millions of data points to strengthen our first-mover advantage as we build the online expansion of Wefarm for hundreds of millions of farmers.
“By building a highly engaged community of millions of small-holder farmers, Wefarm has created a powerful platform providing greater access to vital knowledge and information, which allows farmers to unlock greater economic potential from their land,” said Kamran Adle, early stage investor at Octopus Ventures. “In practice that might mean understanding which fertilisers work best, what the market price is for certain goods, or new farming techniques that result in better yields, all of which can make a significant difference to livelihoods. It’s also an enormous market with more than 400 million small-holder farmers globally who collectively spend around $400 billion on farming inputs. There is a huge opportunity for Kenny and the team at Wefarm to achieve incredible scale and we’re excited for the launch of its digital platform which will further accelerate growth.”
Wefarm is a mission driven business that connects farmers to one another so they can learn more, buy smarter, and sell better. The goal of the company is to rewrite global supply chains and enable the world’s 400 million small-scale farmers to fulfill their economic potential. To do so, Wefarm is building the definitive platform and network for the world’s biggest vertical. Wefarm’s platform enables farmers to share knowledge for free, and access a marketplace of trustworthy retailers and brands. The platform is free for farmers to use, and can be accessed online or via SMS.
About Octopus Ventures
Octopus Ventures, part of the Octopus Group, is built to specialise in the four areas we believe will change the world for the better: health, money, deep tech and consumer. We have backed the founding teams of more than 100 companies including Zoopla, Secret Escapes, graze.com, tails.com, Swiftkey, Elvie, Depop, Sofar Sounds, Big Health, Bought By Many, ByMiles, OLIO and Cazoo.Some of our portfolio companies have gone on to join forces with the world’s largest businesses including Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Twitter. With £1.3 billion under management and investing over £100m a year, Octopus Ventures is one of the largest and most active venture investors in Europe. Our typical investment is from £1 million for Seed to £10 million for Series B and we can continue to fund the companies we back right through to IPO.We are based in London and New York with a network that spans from San Francisco to China. The companies we back become a part of this network, with access to a formidable resource of experience and expertise.
Our current investment focus:
· Future of Health: Transforming the health industry, from digital therapeutics through to biotechnology.
· Future of Money: Revolutionising society’s ability to exchange and allocate financial resources and risk.
· Deep Tech: The tools and technologies that will power the next industrial revolution. These include quantum computing, robotics and drones, sensory human augmentation and 3D printing.
·Consumer: Reinventing the everyday, in how we live, work, travel, play, rest and recuperate.