Previously, towards the end of 2017, Farmcrowdy closed a $1 million seed funding round with participation from Cox Enterprises, Techstars Ventures, Social Capital, Hallett Capital and Right-Side Capital; as well as angel investors Tyler Scriven, Michael Cohn,Josephine Group, FC Agro Allied SPV and Dr. Christof Walter.
"With close to 50,000 downloads of the [Farmcrowdy] mobile app, we continue to experience a growing interest in Farmcrowdy and agriculture as a whole. Most recently, we have signed up new farmers who have been recommended by farmers we have worked with in 2017 as well as by the cooperatives and associations these farmers belong to," said Onyeka Akumah, Co-Founder, and CEO at Farmcrowdy, when speaking to iAfrikan after the $325,000 grant announcement was made.
The $325,000 grant from the GSMA global team Mobile for Development as part of the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund, will be used by Farmcrowdy to develop a mobile app for smartphones and feature phones that will enable farmers and Technical Field Specialists to interact about farm-related activities. Added to this, the Nigerian AgriTech startup will also be adding other features to the app such as farming related information, electronic payments, and training.
The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund was launched in 2016 with the aim of providing selected startups in Afrika and Asia Pacific with grant funding, technical assistance and the opportunity to partner with mobile operators in order to scale their products and services into sustainable businesses with a positive socio-economic impact.
"So far, we have been able to raise sponsorship for over 6,000 farms units from about 1,000 farm sponsors, thus helping us empower over 3,000 farmers to date. We also have over 25,000 farm followers from thousands of app downloads, as mentioned above, who have subscribed to receive regular information about agriculture and agricultural processes from our platform," said Akumah.
Other recipients of the 2017 equity-free grant award from the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund include Ensibuuko, LipaMobile, Jammi Africa, Optimetriks , Musanga Logistics, PrepClass, Raye7, and Lynk.
"At this time, we still want to focus on our activities in Nigeria to see how best we can consolidate our efforts during the last year. At the end of 2018, we would consider plans to replicate this community model across other African countries where small-scale farmers can benefit from Farmcrowdy's approach to increasing food production," concluded Akumah.