2019 has been an amazing year for us and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing farmers, farm followers, and sponsors. As we come to the end of the year, here is a look back at what we achieved this year:
– Earlier this year, we launched our first portfolio company, Farmgate Africa. Farmgate Africa provided major processors and international buyers with the opportunity to purchase commodities directly from local farming clusters. In July 2019, we unified Farmgate Africa and Agricsquare (a community of Agriculture enthusiasts) with Farmcrowdy to provide an all-inclusive platform and create a seamless experience for our sponsors.
– This year marked our expansion to various states to continue empowering rural farmers. We expanded operations to Sokoto, Adamawa, and Nasarawa. As of December 2019, Farmcrowdy currently operates in 16 out of the 36 states in Nigeria, empowers 25,800+ rural farmers, operates on 19,000+ acres of land, and has reared about 3 million chickens.
– We launched Farmcrowdy 2.0, our upgraded website with lots of new features to enhance the user experience. Some of the new features on the site were; an all-new dashboard, more payment options for local and international sponsors, and easier sign-in/login options.
– In March 2019, Farmcrowdy raised an additional seed funding of $1 million from Cox Enterprises, Techstars, and Ajayi Solutions to continue building our award-winning model while expanding across Nigeria to empower rural farmers. We also announced the Farmcrowdy Technical Field Specialist (TFS) App for our on-site Technical Field Specialists.
– In May 2019, we announced our partnership with Livestock247.com. Livestock 247 is an online Livestock Market established to bring together Buyers, Sellers, Ranchers/Feedlot Operators, Veterinary Professionals, Haulage Companies, Butcheries/Abattoirs, and Financial Service Providers. The partnership provided potential customers the ability to buy quality, traceable and fit for slaughter livestock, empower livestock farmers through the feedlot program.
– Farmcrowdy also announced its partnership with Best Foods Fresh Farm. Best Foods is one of Nigeria’s most respected agribusiness companies which has been in operation for over 16 years. The partnership will improve the livestock value chain across Nigeria. It will also improve the quality of meat production and processing in alignment with international standards. This will make lead it to becoming the best source of processed meat in Nigeria.
– As we grew, we decided to apply our winning business model to other sectors. This led to the launch of Crowdyest, with the goal of contributing to the achievement of the SDGs. Farmcrowdy became the first featured portfolio company in Crowdyvest.
– The Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde unveiled a partnership with Farmcrowdy in August 2019. The purpose of the partnership is to empower 50,000 Oyo State rural farmers. We are the first digital agriculture platform in Nigeria to achieve a partnership of this magnitude.
– November 16th – November 18th, 2019 was a memorable period for Farmcrowdy. Our Managing Director, Kenneth Obaijulu attended the Global Business Forum in Dubai. At the forum, Kenneth spoke to Doing Business in Africa Club Members at the Hult International Business School, Dubai. He spoke to them about the African market, it’s challenges, and how to make an impact in the society. Kenneth also discussed AgriTech with the Vice President, Prime Minister (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
– In December 2019, we introduced a new farm – Cumin farm. Cumin is the dried seed of the herb, Cuminum cymium, a member of the Parsley family. It is available both as whole seeds as well as in ground form. It is a typical ingredient in chili powder and is also often found in other spice blends.
– We won our first global recognition and the United Nations “Global Disruptive Innovation in Agriculture” award in Italy.
– Farmcrowdy won The Next Bulls Award by the Nigerian Stock Exchange and BusinessDay.
– Farmcrowdy was presented with the award for Africa’s Innovative Business of the Year 2019 by the British Awards for African Development.
– Our founder, Onyeka Akumah was presented with the Leadership Award in Agriculture for 2019 by Global Leadership Institute.
– Farmcrowdy was included as one of Africa’s most inspiring businesses in the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 report.’
– The Financial Times/International Finance Corporation (FT/IFC) Transformational Business Awards 2019 shortlisted Farmcrowdy as one of the finalists under the category: Transformational Solutions in Food, Water and Land.
– Pagan Research listed Farmcrowdy as one of the 23 Amazing Startups in Nigeria that are revamping the Tech Ecosystem.
– On World Food Day 2019, we visited Victoria Island Nursery and Primary School, Eti Osa LGA. There, we educated the children on agriculture, World Food Day, and the role children can play towards achieving Zero Hunger. We also showed them some fun exercises they can engage in to stay fit and healthy.
– On October 7, 2019, the Lagos State Government introduced a Veterinary Health Certificate for Trade of Meat, being a requirement for major food vendors to ensure that the animals slaughtered and sold for consumption are under hygienic conditions. Farmcrowdy is a proud holder of the Veterinary Health Certificate for Trade of Meat. This means that beef that comes from the meat production arm of Farmcrowdy has been processed under hygienic conditions, tested and marked safe for consumption.
– Farmcrowdy turned three (3) on November 14th. We used that day to appreciate our farmers, farm sponsors, partners, stakeholders, and everyone who has supported us in the past three years. It was also a time to reflect on our growth in the past year and discuss ways to ensure growth by our fourth year.
– We had our annual mid-year conference on July 6th and July 7th. Guest speakers, Yemi Davids and Olakunle Soriyan were invited to speak to the staff. The conference helped reaffirm our commitment to the company goals and vision.
– In December 2019, we had our annual end of year retreat at Park Inn Radisson, Abeokuta where we spoke on our plans for next year. On our way there, we stopped at the famous Olumo rock where our brave climbers made it to the top.
It’s been a great year and we are grateful for all the love and support from everyone. We cannot wait to have an even better 2020. Until then, Happy holidays!
Journey Wellness, an AI-Enabled, Personalised Healthcare Platform Launches in South Africa
Journey Wellness Co-Founders, Dr. Jacques Ludik and Laura Wayburne (Image: Nomsa Mdhluli)
Journey Wellness, an AI-Enabled, Personalised Healthcare Platform set to Revolutionize Wellness & Healthcare in South Africa. The Platform will transform business employee benefits and medical schemes’ approach to offering wellness for employees and medical aid members.
A revolutionary new approach to offering Ultra-Personalised, Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Healthcare from tech-trendsetting company Cortex Logic is set to transform the way medical aid schemes, consumers and corporates offering employee benefits as part of their EAP (Employee Assistance Programmes) view their current healthcare offering.
The Journey Wellness platform is perfectly timed to coincide with the current global shift in Healthcare, as the focus moves from a disease-management model to one that encourages optimum health and disease-avoidance, targeting younger as well as existing members with a holistic, pro-active offering.
Corporates and medical schemes are realising that they need to offer their employees and members wellness and EAP benefits that move beyond expensive, reactive, chemical care to cost-effective, proactive preventative primary care.
“Globally, an ever-increasing portion of healthcare spend and focus is shifting to promote wellness and wellbeing, rather than responding to illness,” says Lara Wayburne, a respected Healthcare Actuary consulting to Cortex Logic and part of the development team of the Journey Wellness Platform.
“Healthcare analysts predict that over the coming decade the focus on wellness and wellbeing can reduce overall healthcare costs by as much as 30%.”
“Journey Wellness enables that future by empowering and engaging consumers to better understand the drivers that impact their health and therefore be more actively involved in managing their own health. By doing so, the Journey Wellness ecosystem encourages positive health seeking behaviour, promoting better physical and mental health,” says Wayburne.
The driving force behind Journey Wellness, Dr Jacques Ludik, Founder and CEO of Cortex Logic, who has also recently written a book called ‘Democratizing Artificial Intelligence to Benefit Everyone’, says that the Journey Wellness platform will provide more healthcare, to more people, faster.
“Essentially, Journey is a cost-effective, pro-active, personalised and engaged AI health companion that will improve health outcomes for everyone involved – the medical scheme provider, employers, employees, healthcare providers and ultimately the end-user consumer who will benefit from personalised, proactive healthcare with the added benefits of cost savings all-round,” says Dr Ludik.
Journey Wellness offers a number of benefits for Medical Schemes, Corporates and End-Users:
Employer Groups and Medical Scheme providers will benefit from the cost savings inherent in moving from expensive, reactive, chemical care to cost-effective, proactive preventative primary care for their members and employees. This will result in increased productivity, increased employee engagement, reduced absenteeism and cost-savings to all involved.
Healthcare Providers will benefit from having a 360-degree view of their patients that will improve wellness proactively without costly chemical intervention, usually at the reactive stage and will also empower patients with continuous self-care.
And, Consumers will benefit from a Holistic Wellness Solution and the reduced need for expensive healthcare options, improved wellbeing, rewards for engagement and ultimately having a personalised wellness coach on hand at all times to help them understand their health status and associated risks and better manage their health and improve quality of life.
“Overall, it’s a win-win scenario in which technology, data and analytics foster a collaborative and progressive healthcare environment, creating an ecosystem for improved wellbeing one step at a time that benefits everyone,” says Wayburne.
Journey Wellness has also made an exciting announcement around making the Platform’s Mental Health Module available for free to users from 1 September 2021.
“We realise that the current state of affairs globally, and in South Africa in particular, with pandemic lockdowns and economic uncertainty foremost on our minds, places an enormous amount of pressure on people. So, we’re offering free access to our Mental Health Module to users, where they can access an AI-enabled mental health companion 24/7,” says Dr Ludik.
The Journey Wellness Demo Platform for Corporate Employers and Medical Schemes is available at , and for Consumers, the User App is available as a free download for Android and iOS devices at Google Play and App Store. Medical schemes and Employers looking to offer Journey Wellness to their members can interact directly with Journey Wellness by requesting a demo via the website.
Chaka secures $1.5M pre-seed round to power digital investments and wealth management opportunities across Africa
Chaka CEO, Tosin Osibodu at a press briefing (Image & Press Release: Chaka)
Chaka is thrilled to announce its $1.5M pre-seed funding round led by Breyer Capital, a global venture firm focused on catalyzing growth in high-impact companies like Spotify, Facebook, and now, Chaka. Other participants in the round are 4DX Ventures, Golden Palm Investments, Future Africa, Seedstars, and Musha Ventures.
Chaka is a technology solutions company on a mission to enable every business and person in Africa to access borderless digital investment and wealth management opportunities. The team combines investment expertise and best-in-class technology to provide reliable digital Investing, trading and wealth management solutions that are easy-to-use and easy-to-integrate.
Their mission is to enable digital border-less investing for African businesses and individuals. They’re powering the digital investment landscape in Africa through partnerships with asset managers, financial technology firms, and regulators with whom we have a shared mission. We achieve this by providing trading solutions that are easy to use and easy to integrate.
With this capital, they will focus on the goals to build a roster of formidable partners and accelerate expansion to other markets within West Africa. This investment also enables them to hire top talent and integrate more advanced functionalities into our investment and wealth management solutions.
Jim Breyer, CEO of Breyer Capital, shared his view on this investment and it illustrates their shared vision: “We are proud to align ourselves with a company that is leveling the investment playing field for Nigerians (and Africans at large). We’re confident in the value Chaka provides through its digital tools, and we look forward to playing our part in supporting Tosin, Bo, Olaolu, and the Chaka team.”
This is a significant milestone for Chaka and could not have come this far without their users, partners, early investors, and a talented, achieving team of Champions.
They see digital investments as a means to boost economic transformation in Africa, and we’re very keen to bring this vision to life.
Emmanuel Penneh set to lead the Ghanaian team that will re-assemble the first Nissan Navara made in Ghana
Emmanuel Penneh (Image: Lusawovana Pius- edelman)
Emmanuel Penneh arrived back in Accra this week, ready to start the next phase of a journey that’s taken three years so far and still has an intensive eight months to run. On Thursday 3 June 2021, the married 44-year-old father of three graduated with his team of 11 Ghanaians from an intense eight-week course at Nissan South Africa’s Rosslyn manufacturing plant outside Pretoria. That was just the first step for them. Now the hard work begins, getting Ghana’s brand-new Nissan assembly plant in Tema, outside Accra, ready to begin re-assembling the first ever Nissan Navaras to be built in Africa early in the New Year.
The graduation is a critical milestone in a process that began back in 2018 with the signing of the landmark Memorandum of Understanding between Nissan and the Government of Ghana, followed by the drafting and promulgation of Ghana’s automotive development policy the following year and then the appointment of Japan Motors Trading Company (JMTC), as Nissan’s preferred partner last year to ensure that the new facility will be 100% Ghana owned and run.
Penneh is up for the challenge. Speaking at the special graduation ceremony held at the Rosslyn, SKD plant, he said he and his team were proud and honoured, excited and delighted. “This is a historic evolution for Nissan Ghana, Nissan South Africa and Nissan worldwide. This is the plant where the Nissan Navara is being made for the first time in Africa, by Africans for Africa, now we are going home to re-assemble the first Navara made in Ghana for Ghana by Ghanaians!”
Penneh will be the plant manager. It’s a feather in the cap for the 10-year JMTC veteran. Before being approached to lead the team, Penneh was service co-ordinator for the group’s aftersales operations, overseeing five workshops across Ghana. He’s been in the automotive industry for 14 years, with four years at Man Truck Ghana before he joined JMTC.
“It’s exciting,” he says, “it gives a new dimension to my career. After concentrating on the after sales aspect, I’m now coming into the industry that actually builds the vehicles.”
The eight-week training that the team underwent in South Africa had been gruelling, he said, they had no idea what to expect. “It was challenging coming fresh into this industry and discovering so many processes and rules and mastering them, but it’s been exciting.”
He’s exceptionally proud of the team he led to South Africa and the way they’ve conducted themselves. “This (the creation of a Nissan assembly plant in Ghana) is going to be a game changer for ourselves, but also for our country, creating jobs, upskilling people and creating opportunities for local brand ownership.”