Taking infant farmers in Nigeria to a bigger market has attracted the new established Farmcrowdy $1 million raised from investors such as Techstars, Cox Ventures and Social Capital.
Farmcrowdy’s digital platform brings together investors to farmers via sponsorship packages to finance higher returns for a share of the yield.
The app permits the sponsors to “Farm Shop” protected agricultural field day by produce form, financing amount, contract duration, and expected yield on investment.
The profiles are information on the sponsorship funds―farm inputs, technical advice, or logistical support―to achieve returns. General crops are cassava, soya beans, and rice.
Investors may also make use of Farmcrowdy’s platform to assess the performance of their sponsorships.
“What makes Farmcrowdy unique from other platforms is that it changes a compound problem into a digital market-place,” Farmcrowdy owner Onyeka Akumah made this known to TechCrunch. “We are managing the funding for farmers, farmers training, giving the market for the farmers to sell their crops. We are managing of the logistics to convey farm harvests to the market and ensuring farmers earn a reasonable income at the end of their cycle,” he said.
Farmcrowdy assesses small scale farms across Nigeria and be in partnership with organisations like Syngenta and Africa’s International Institute of Tropical Agriculture to put sponsorship packages into shape and provide them expertise.
A huge issue, according to Akumah, is several farms don’t have the inputs to meet the full harvest potential of their land plots.
Farmcrowdy’s income model works on a split system for sponshorships: principal plus 40% for sponsors, 40% for farmers, and 20 percent for Farmcrowdy.
For example, an investor who sponsored a maize farm for six months at $1000 and at harvest the output generates revenue of $2500, the sponsor would gain back its investment ($1000) and addition of 40% out of the of profits ($600), the farmer is entitled to $600 (40%), and Farmcrowdy $300 (20%).
Farmcrowdy will make use its new fund to scale operations, go to twenty Nigerian states, to source and bring more small-scale farmers and sponsors in to its program.
The startup attended in the accelerator class of one its investors, Techstars, in summer 2017. Techstars examined Farmcrowdy’s model in a trip to Nigeria in early 2017, Techstars mentor Cody Simms verified in an email.
Agriculture is still another African sector which tech firms are attempting to scale startups, apps, and solutions.
MasterCard initiated its 2KUZE agtech platform for small-scale farmers in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania in January. AgroCenta has come up with digital logistics solutions for small-scale farmers in Ghana.
Farmcrowdy CEO Onyeka Akumah views the revenue future for agriculture in Nigeria “as very big”, considering the country’s size and development. “Nigeria’s population is currently at 186 million and is predicted to be the world’s 3rd largest country in the next 30 years. All these people will need food to eat,” he said.