Ghanaian startup Farmerline, which is expanding to East Africa and provides agricultural information to farmers, and Rwanda’s Atikus Insurance, which expands access to credit by increasing the capacity of MSME lenders via reimagined insurance and technology risk solutions have been named winners of the Village Capital FinTech for Agriculture East African accelerator programme, receiving US$50,000 investment each from Village Capital to further grow their companies.
Village Capital, which finds, trains and invests in early-stage ventures solving major social problems across the world, had selected the startups for its three-month accelerator programme, which aims to unlock innovations that increase access to financial services for smallholder farmers.
The startups participated in a series of workshops focusing on business model canvassing, customer hypothesis testing, financial modelling, partnership and customer development, and investor engagement, culminating in a head-to-head pitch competition, the “Venture Forum”, held in Nairobi last week.
The other startups that completed the programme, including Chamasoft, a web and mobile app to automate record keeping for investment groups, FarmDrive, which transforms how smallholder farmers access financial services, M-Shamba, an interactive platform for smallholder farmers and traders, and Mobipay, which provides tech solutions to various economic sectors to drive commerce and trade.
The rest of the cohort was made up of nanoCredit Technologies, which offers lending and de-risking engines,Mifugo.Trade, an online livestock marketing platform, Redcore Interactive, which has developed the remit.ugplatform for online international money transfers to mobile money in Africa, and YieldUganda, which sources high quality, traceable food products for local and export markets.
Nina Tellegen, CEO of the DOEN Foundation said that Village Capital’s peer-review investment selection process makes the programme uniquely positioned to provide an interesting and valuable experience for entrepreneurs.