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The financial boost from the fund will go toward supporting their next scaling opportunity by building FarmDrive’s credit-scoring model. It will also be used to enhance the HR base within analysis, research, and insight generation.
“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 Safaricom’s CEP, Bob Collymore in a press release.
FarmDrive aims to provide smallholder farmers with suitable financial services by using machine-learning, data analytics as well as user-friendly SMS.
The mobile app allows farmers to track their revenues and expenses as well as the ability to apply for loans using the app. The necessary data is then processed through a credit-scoring algorithm together with satellite, economic and agronomic data. All the correlated data is then used to generate farmer’s respective credit scores.
FarmDrive aims to assist smallholder farmers through gathered analytics
So far, over 3000 farmers have registered on the system and have had more than US$130 000 accessed in loans.
“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,” concluded FarmDrive cofounder, Rita Kimani.
Since its launch in 2015, the US$1-million Venture Fund has invested in four companies, with FarmDrive being the fifth.