GreenFingers Mobile, a technology platform provider for managing and financing smallholder farmers in Africa, recently launched out of beta stage and secured an equity seed investment from The Hivos Food & Lifestyle Fund, an impact investor based in the Netherlands and active member of the VC4A Investor network.
Max Pichulik, the GreenFingers Mobile CEO explains: “With 7 billion people on the planet, and smallholder agriculture representing 70% of production in developing countries, efficient systems to manage food supply chains are imperative. Smallholder farmers typically farm less than 2 hectares, and live on less than $2 per day. We believe that technology will play an increasing role in connecting farmers to markets efficiently, and meeting an increasing global demand for food.” Pichulik added: “Our software solution replaces archaic paper based management systems with real time mobile solutions, bringing transparency to the supply chain, and enabling the efficient management and financing of smallholder/ emerging farmers.”
GreenFingers Mobile was formed through a partnership between Impact Amplifier, a South African business accelerator, and Mobenzi, a mobile-first technology company, which empowers frontline workers in over 40 countries. GreenFingers Mobile currently operates across three countries and supports over 5,000 smallholder farmers. The business has already seen significant demand for its mobile agriculture solution, which integrates technical, transactional, financial and grower data into large food supply chains. The Hivos investment will be used to further expand its products and services into other African countries.
Keith Wallace, Senior Investment Manager for The Hivos Food & Lifestyle Fund adds: “The GreenFingers solution is an important tool in enabling ethical supply chains, through the management of large, real time data sets. We hope that GreenFingers can make it easier for large food companies to work with smallholder farmers, playing a significant role in poverty alleviation and reducing their impact on the environment.”
The GreenFingers platform leverages the strength of its partners, Impact Amplifier and Mobenzi, to provide a combination of agricultural, technological and capital advisory expertise, alongside a global network in developing countries. The business has also recently set up a local distribution partnership in Zimbabwe.
The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution combines an Android app, alongside a web based data aggregation and intelligence tool, and an Application Programme Interface (API) which enables a host of value added services via 3rd parties. GreenFingers Mobile ultimately seeks to create a more equal and environmentally sustainable world by enabling management and financing solutions for smallholder farmers operating in developing countries.
About The Hivos Food & Lifestyle Fund
With urbanisation on the rise in Africa, the need for local and sustainable food production needs to be coupled to a lifestyle that embraces authentic, genuine and healthy food. The Hivos Food & Lifestyle Fund Africa was launched to meet the needs of entrepreneurs across the African continent who are committed to bringing high quality (local) produce to the market locally and internationally.