June 26, 2015 (Nairobi, Kenya)—Village Capital today announced the first winners
of its innovative program, East Africa: FinTech for Agriculture 2015. The program
supports entrepreneurs in making financial services more affordable and accessible
for smallholder farmers and other underbanked individuals in East Africa. The
Over 65% of Sub-Saharan Africans do not use financial institutions or mobile money
accounts to save or borrow money. Access to financial services can be especially
difficult for smallholder farmers, often far from a financial access point.
Furthermore, many promising early-stage entrepreneurs addressing this issue
cannot find the resources they need to get off the ground.
Village Capital East Africa: FinTech for Agriculture 2015 provided these resources to
12 high-potential, early-stage entrepreneurs from across East Africa. The program
also supported them through business development training, mentorship, and
opportunities to meet potential customers and pitch to investors.
At the end of the 12-week program, the entrepreneur-participants ranked each
other on six criteria, and chose two companies to each receive a 50,000 USD
investment. The two top peer-ranked companies are:
capacity of MSME lenders via reimagined insurance and technology risk
agricultural information to farmers and also provides technology to
stakeholders to work better
“We are proud to have partnered with the DOEN Foundation, The MasterCard
Foundation, and Duncan Goldie-Scot to work with the best local entrepreneurs
providing alternative financial services through their technology platforms,”
said Ross Baird, Executive Director of Village Capital. “We are excited about the
positive impact that our entrepreneurs can have on improving the income of
smallholder farmers–the backbone of the African economy–and eager to see our
enterprises’ growth through communities across the continent.”
“One of the main reasons we support Village Capital is because of its unique peer
selection technique. Therefore the organisation is able to create a pipeline of
investments at a much lower cost than other parties and at the same time offers its
participants an interesting network. In the end many more entrepreneurs with
impact businesses can profit as well as the East African society as a whole,” said
Nina Tellegen, CEO of the DOEN Foundation.
“I’m very pleased to be supporting these two companies. It has also been fascinating
to see the progress of all the teams who have come through the program over the
past three months. They have all learnt so much, from the trainers, the mentors and
each other,” said Duncan Goldie-Scot.
The other companies selected for the program are:
● Chamasoft (Kenya) is a web and mobile app to automate record-keeping for
● FarmDrive (Kenya) is transforming how smallholder farmers access financial
● M-Shamba (Kenya) is an interactive platform for smallholder farmers and
● Mobipay (Kenya) provides technology solutions to various economic sectors
to drive commerce and trade.
● nanoCredit Technologies (South Africa, expanding to Kenya) offers a series
of lending and de-risking engines, providing structured digital finance for
● Mifugo.Trade/Rangerland Solutions (Kenya) is an online livestock marketing
platform that directly connects buyers and sellers, reducing marketing costs.
● Redcore Interactive (Uganda) has developed remit.ug, which is a platform for
online international money transfers to mobile money in Africa.
● YieldUganda (Uganda) sources high quality, traceable food products for local
and export markets.
Village Capital sources, trains, and invests in early-stage ventures solving major
social problems through profitable business solutions. We put investors face-to-face
with the best entrepreneurs in agriculture, energy, education, health, and financial
inclusion, and in the last five years, we have been the most active small business
development organization worldwide. Since 2009, our award-winning
peer-selection investment model has supported 450 ventures in 30 programs across
9 countries. Our alumni have created 6,000 jobs, served 6 million customers, and
raised more than $100 million in follow-on capital to scale their businesses and
impact, and 96% of our alumni would recommend our programs to other
The DOEN Foundation believes that a green, socially inclusive and creative society is
achievable. The world is full of committed entrepreneurs eager to develop
sustainable, cultural and socially-engaged initiatives. People who are not afraid to
take risks while putting their pioneering ideas into practice. People who inspire
others. The DOEN Foundation offers them financial support and brings them
together to connect them. DOEN receives its revenues from three Dutch charity
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater
access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty,
primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. As one of the largest, private foundations, its work
is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to
create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence
was established by MasterCard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more
information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org or follow us on
Duncan Goldie-Scot is a founding director of several FinTech companies in East
Africa, including Musoni, the first 100% mobile-only/cashless microfinance
institution in Kenya. Musoni runs its operations in Kenya and is expanding across
East Africa. First Access combines financial and mobile data to reliably predict
credit risk for borrowers in informal markets, dramatically reducing costs for
lending institutions. BitPesa is an innovative remittance service, also dramatically
reducing costs of sending money to Africa. He is also a founding director of Access
Afya, an award-winning network of mini health clinics operating in informal
communities in Nairobi, Kenya.