Young African Xhosa Male in his vegetable garden, sits on his haunches while referencing information on his tablet.
Farmshine, a Nairobi based agritech start-up has raised funding of USD 250,000 from US-based impact investor Gray Matters Capital’s gender lens sector agnostic portfolio – GMC coLABS. The funds raised are expected to be used to hire and train personnel, including field agents, and to further develop the platform to connect the agriculture ecosystem.
Farmshine is a Nairobi based agritech start-up that operates a global agriculture platform where farmers, buyers and service providers can trade on mutually beneficial terms. The platform enables smallholder farmers to aggregate and sell their harvests directly to large commodity companies. This has not been possible in the past because there was no way to exchange accurate information on buyers’ contract offers, or to ensure the trust needed for buyers and farmers to engage in such a contract.
Combined with on-the-ground support from Farmshine’s field officers, the mobile app ensures that farmers are offered clear, fair and reliable contracts from legitimate buyers. Every activity takes place through the app – including contract agreement, production management, crop aggregation, and delivery and payment – ensuring full transparency among each party.
The platform can also be used by UN, NGOs and commercial organizations to manage their agricultural activities. This includes the registration, training and management of smallholder farmers; monitoring of crop growth and field activities throughout the growing season; early warning of plant pests and diseases; and aggregation and sale to large commodity companies.
The Farmshine funding, marks the second investment by the impact investor in the agri-tech space in Kenya after funding B2B start-up Taimba in July this year and is the fifth African start-up added to its portfolio which includes Rwanda’s ARED, Ghana’s Redbird Health Tech and Nigeria’s Sonocare in the last two years.
Luca Alinovi, Farmshine’s Founder & CEO, had this to say, “Farmshine’s platform was designed with a farmer-first approach. It can be easily replicated for any value chain in any country, and can scale from thousands to hundreds of thousands of farmers.”