Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business
FarmDrive Co-founders, Peris Bosire and Rita Kimani. The $1 million Safaricom Spark Venture Fund has announced its investment in the data-analytics startup, which will go towards supporting the next phase of growth by building FarmDrive’s innovative credit scoring model which allows farmers access financing.

Kenya

Safaricom Spark Fund backs agricultural analytics startup

FarmDrive Co-founders, Peris Bosire and Rita Kimani. The $1 million Safaricom Spark Venture Fund has announced its investment in the data-analytics startup, which will go towards supporting the next phase of growth

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 13 – Safaricom Spark Venture Fund has today announced its investment in FarmDrive, a data analytics startup that connects small-scale farmers to financial services.

FarmDrive has developed an alternative credit-scoring model based on mobile phones and machine learning algorithms. It allows farmers to access financing using their phones.

FarmDrive seeks to address the lack of visibility and data that lenders cite in denying smallholder farmers access to financial services. FarmDrive’s goal is to bring millions of smallholder farmers into the formal financial sector through the simple mobile phones already in their pockets.

“In an era when market uncertainty is creating new challenges for the agricultural sector, mobile-based technology solutions like FarmDrive can empower farmers with the critical access to finance and to help expand their access to other essential services,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.

Leveraging Android and SMS, the mobile phone application allows farmers to track their revenues and expenses, and as well as apply for loans. The data is then fed into a credit-scoring algorithm, alongside key satellite, agronomic, economic data, to help improve yields.

By analysing these various datasets, the algorithm is able to generate credit scores for farmers.

In addition to the credit scores, FarmDrive also develops decision-making tools that financial institutions can use to create products that fit the economic and agronomic needs of smallholder farmers.

FarmDrive becomes the fifth investment by the $1 million Safaricom Spark Venture Fund since its establishment in 2015.

FarmDrive was co-founded in 2014 by Rita Kimani and Peris Bosire, both Computer Science graduates from The University of Nairobi.

It was inspired by the co-founders’ experiences growing up in smallholder farming communities, and has won numerous global awards. So far, 3,000 farmers have registered with FarmDrive and over Sh13 million (US$130,000) accessed in loans.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

According to Ms Kimani, the boost from the Safaricom Spark Venture Fund will go towards supporting the next phase of growth by building FarmDrive’s innovative credit scoring model and enhancing its human resource base in research, analysis and insight generation.

“We are excited about this investment because it enables us to scale this innovation, score more farmers, unlock more capital, and grow the agricultural loan portfolios of our financial institution partners. This is all good for the inclusive development of our country,” she said.

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – The World Bank has given the Kenyan government USD 60 Million (Sh6.1 billion) to help combat the deadly coronavirus pandemic...