Fourteen selected African startups specializing in FoodTech and AgriTech solutions are set to join this year’s GIZ - SAIS Investment Readiness Program. ‘Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Startups’ (SAIS), a project implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), happily welcomes 15 African AgriTech and FoodTech startups to this year’s cohort of the Investment Readiness Program.
“At GIZ, we designed the SAIS project to help African AgTech und FoodTech start-ups to improve their investment readiness and to facilitate their access to investors and business partners. We were excited to partner with Seedstars and VC4A to scout for the most promising start-ups in the AgTech and FoodTech sector on the African continent. The selected start-ups will be able to scale their innovations in new markets and help their users to improve their incomes,” says Michel Bernhardt, Head of the GIZ Program.
To increase both productivity and revenues of smallholder farmers, while fighting against food insecurity on the continent, the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) supports promising African startups offering FoodTech and AgriTech solutions. The fully-funded, nine-month program is set to provide its participants with weekly advisory and coaching sessions; access to additional service providers; integration in one of GIZ-SAIS’ partner hubs; and a demo-day with investors and business partners to conclude the program in July 2021.
With the support of VC4A, the largest online community of entrepreneurs and investors dedicated to building game-changing companies in Africa, and Seedstars, GIZ-SAIS successfully sourced the startups participating in this year’s IRP, due to kick-off in October 2020.
The 14 selected startups joining the IRP are as follows:
- Afrimash is an online marketplace for players in the agricultural value chain that also offers advice and market access to smallholder farmers.
- AgroMall is digitalizing the agricultural supply chain by working with smallholder farmers and agribusinesses to provide them access to various affordable financial services that help them improve their practices and expand their production.
- Bankly provides personal and technological touchpoints needed to digitize cash and increase the income of the "underbanked population" safely and easily.
- Foodsasa is an online delivery service that connects restaurants and snack bars in Dar-es-Salaam to private customers.
- Freshbag is an e-commerce store that works with agricultural cooperatives to facilitate the collection, transportation, and distribution of crops to urban centers to help improve their income and reduce post-harvest losses.
- GGEM Farming is a crowdfunding start-up that provides farmers with everything they need to be successful, measured by what they can borrow, through 0% loans.
- Grow For Me offers a web-based platform for financing smallholder farmers. With the help of drone and satellite images, they are also able to keep sponsors informed about the progress of the crops they grow while providing the best agronomic advice for optimal production.
- Jaguza is an online and offline cloud-based livestock management system that uses Data Science, IoT, and Big Data to minimize risks in livestock operations.
- Maali is a one-stop-shop for digital financial products designed to support the e-Cash movement, enabling cost-efficient payments that are traceable between merchants and consumers.
- MyFugo, an animal health startup, is a SaaS-based enterprise solution that enables livestock farmers to capture and record livestock breeding data to improve yield and profitability through selective breeding.
- Phema Agri is a digital web platform that connects agri-investors looking to increase their money with smallholder farmers looking for working capital solutions.
- Pricepally is an online marketplace that allows buyers to order food in large quantities and receive discounts.
- Rural Farmers Hub provides digital extension services for smallholder farmers and connects them with suppliers, NGOs or potential partners as needed.
- Winich Farms is a crowdfunding platform that brings farmers together in special clusters to train them in best agronomic practices and to provide them credit in the form of seeds in improved varieties.
The selection of these finalists required a close look at the team and the solutions they are providing. GIZ-SAIS sought to find startups that had a clear digital business model with innovative and disruptive solutions. Additionally, they took notice at the startups helping mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in the Agri- and FoodTech value chain.
This year’s kick-off event for the new cohort is set to take place right after the Demo Day of the previous batch, happening this coming October back to back with the South African Innovation Summit. Among the IRP 2019 startups that will be showcasing their initiatives in the Demo Day are Cookshop, Livestock247.com, Zowasel, Lentera, Shopit, AFRIKAMART, Bringo Fresh, eMsika, Vipimo, FreshBox, eProd Solutions, and Kitovu.
Now more than ever, with the added impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is both necessary and timely to dedicate a stronger focus on the agriculture industry. The IRP continues to support African startups to answer this call and to address Africa’s challenges in the industry, particularly with food security and employment.