Wefarm, UK-based farmer-to-farmer digital network, has secured Sh505 million ($5 million) in additional seed funding for Kenya expansion.
The free mobile and online service enables farmers to share crucial livestock and crop information online and via SMS – without needing the Internet and without having to leave their farms.
It uses machine learning and the cloud to source content and knowledge from a network of over 660,000 farmers.
The latest round of financing was led by Silicon Valley-based True Ventures and included Skype and Atomico founder Niklas Zennström, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, Blue Bottle Coffee CEO Bryan Meehan and the Norrsken Foundation.
Existing investors LocalGlobe and Accelerated Digital Ventures contributed further funds.
“We believe farmers are often the best and most relevant source of information and experience for other farmers,” said Wefarm founder and CEO Kenny Ewan.
“We’re proud to have created a network that empowers the close to one million farmers who use our service, and we’re excited to expand our reach and product capabilities this year.”
The company said it will use the funding to develop commercial product offerings and build a new set of features.
Through Wefarm, farmers can ask questions in their own language on anything related to agriculture, from battling a crop disease or an infestation of army worm to best practices for growing cash crops such as maize, tomatoes, coffee and tea.
The company is currently operating in Kenya and Uganda and has plans to expand into other areas of sub-Saharan Africa.