Two African Start-Ups win investments in regional competition for funding Sucessful Farming Made Possible
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Winners aim to increase incomes for smallholder farmers through innovative financial services

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

program is supported by the DOEN Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation, and

Duncan Goldie-Scot.

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:

  • Atikus Insurance (Rwanda) expands access to credit by increasing the

    capacity of MSME lenders via reimagined insurance and technology risk


  • Farmerline (Ghana, expanding to East Africa) provides accurate and timely

    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

investment groups.

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

small farms.

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, 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.

About Village Capital

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


About the DOEN Foundation

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


About The MasterCard Foundation

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: or follow us on

Twitter @MCFoundation.

About Duncan Goldie-Scot

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.

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Eric K. (Farming Afrika Admin)
Eric K. (Farming Afrika Admin)
Eric is the co-founder of Farming Afrika. He is a farmer, business man and technology professional. He is determined to unwrap the mystery of profitable farming, lead the youth back to the farms and tell the story.

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