Farner with an iPad in a field

Wefarm is a mission-driven business that connects farmers to one another so they can learn more, buy smarter, and sell better. It is the world’s largest platform for small-scale farmers and will expand its SMS service into an online platform following a recent successful funding round.

The mission

The goal of the company is to rewrite global supply chains and enable the world’s 400 million small-scale farmers to fulfil their economic potential. Today, Wefarm is one of the most valuable agricultural services in the world with offices in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and the UK as well as an increasingly remote diverse workforce across the globe.

The background

Founded in 2015 by Kenny Ewan, Wefarm was initially launched as a pilot project from within Producer’s Direct (the award-winning organisation that is owned and led by smallholder farmers). After the initial beta launch, Wefarm became an independent, mission-driven company, building a trusted digital platform empowering a global community of small-scale farmers.

Since 2015, Wefarm has provided 2.5 million farmers with an AI-driven SMS tool to connect them with each other in a trusted marketplace of retailers and brands. It is free for farmers to use and can be accessed online or via SMS. The platform’s expansion from SMS marks a new moment of connectivity with hundreds of millions of farmers.

The landscape

To date, 2.5 million farmers have connected with one another without access to the internet via the SMS platform which the company pioneered for the market in 2015. Over 37 million knowledge-sharing conversations have taken place on the SMS service. The online expansion of the SMS service features a forum-based platform that aims to enable farmers to work together, solve problems and aggregate their buying and selling power to change the global supply chain.

The company explains their thinking: “Most tech companies have steered clear from building tech for small-scale farmers. Many farmers still don’t have access to the internet on their remote farms. At Wefarm, we know that building a service tailored specifically for farmers is a priority. Small-scale farmers feed the world; they’re consumers and producers, and they drive one of the most important industries worldwide – yet no other service addresses the challenges they face head-on. We know the opportunity is huge, and we are the first to ensure farmers are supported by a mission-driven platform, not another exploiting party that sets them back in global supply chains”.

Growth and the future

The recent investment (of $11 million in capital) 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,” says 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”.

Kamran Adle of early-stage backers Octopus Ventures, goes further: “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. 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. There is a huge opportunity for Wefarm and we’re excited for the launch of its new digital platform”.

Find out more about Wefarm’s work at https://about.wefarm.com/