Emata Uganda, a fintech startup using technology to bring affordable digital financing to millions of farmers, won the Best Newcomer Award at the 2023 Global Startup Awards (GSA) held in Copenhagen, Denmark, yesterday.
“This is an incredible honor! More importantly, it is a great recognition of the work that our team puts in every day to bring affordable, digital financing to farmers,” Bram van den Bosch the Chief Executive Officer of Emata told PC Tech Magazine.
The fintech startup was last year named “Best Newcomer” in Africa out of 8,272 companies and entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries giving the startup an opportunity of competing against startups from across the globe thus emerging as winners in the category.
By winning the award, Emata will receive better recognition globally to attract business opportunities, have access to the GSA Alumni Network, matchmaking with active investors, successful startups, accelerator & incubator programs, as well as government initiatives, and enjoy the benefits of valuable services & products offered by GSA Prize Sponsors, as well as the opportunity to have a one-hour online conversation with some of the globally recognized investors and industry experts from all around the world.
Emata uses technology to bring affordable digital financing to farmers. The startup is the first agricultural lender in Uganda to automate the entire loan process: data collection and credit scoring to loan disbursement. This allows Emata to deliver loans to the smallest and most remote farmers (even without a smartphone) with lending amounts that start at UGX100,000.
This innovation is much needed as financial institutions across Africa are struggling to lend to smallholder farmers. Because of this farmers are often forced to resort to informal moneylenders that charge exorbitant interest rates that are too high for farmers to make productive investments in their farms. As a result, farmers struggle to achieve prosperity, and Uganda’s vast agricultural potential remains underdeveloped.
Emata has been developed through continuous interaction with farmers and cooperatives —this has ensured that important functionalities such as offline capabilities are built into the platform. In addition to this, advanced financial technology, innovative credit scoring models, and automation of most manual processes will give farmers easy access to affordable loans.
Emata Uganda is the result of Laboremus’ experiences working with financial technology both in Europe and East Africa. Since starting up in Uganda in 2013, the company quickly realized that the opportunities technology offers were not being fully utilized, especially in rural areas. Laboremus believes that technology can do much more to solve pervasive problems in the region, especially when it comes to advancing financial inclusion.