Climate Edge, an AgriTech communications and data platform, has won VC investment from Regenerate Ventures.
Climate Edge links small farmers in developing countries with a wide range of suppliers, currently unknown to them, that can provide them with critical tools and support. These include access to better seeds, fertiliser and pesticides, advice on best practices and further services such as finance and insurance.
More than 300 companies that provide agriculture-related products and services have joined the platform, while more than 100,000 farmers in Kenya and Tanzania are using it to improve their efficiency and yields.
Climate Edge says it is on track to reach one million users by the end of 2022. There are around 40m people in Kenya who live in rural areas and rely on farming for their food and income, with similar numbers in Uganda and Tanzania.
The company also plans to expand to the rest of Africa and other similar global markets. Its services are used by large agricultural companies such as Unilever to support the smallholders in their supply chain and NGOs such as Producers Direct, which provide training to farmers.
“Improving the production of food in Africa is ten times more effective at reducing poverty than any other intervention,” said James Alden, co-founder and CCO.
“The potential for what we are doing is massive. It is forecast that a quarter of the world’s population will be African by 2050. The investment from Regenerate Ventures will enable us to scale up what we are doing this year and hit our targets for the business.”
Scalable technological solutions to digitise the smallholder value chain are key to unlocking value-add services, the company says. For instance, access to finance means that the farmers can afford better raw materials such as seed, fertilisers and tools.
These lead to better yields and ultimately, the farmers will be able to sell and export their surplus.
Paul Rous, co-founder and MD of Regenerate Ventures, said: “I am delighted that we are investing in Climate Edge. It is a superb example of the type of company we want to support – a company with a unique service that meets a huge global need.
“Agriculture needs to change and become massively more efficient if it is to meet the needs of a global growing population, while also helping the world reach carbon net zero.”