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!
Zapper is disrupting card-based payments and loyalty
Zapper is driving ambitious change in payments and loyalty currently dominated by card-based systems.
We have restructured our business to focus on building our platform, to scale our footprint and expand our strategic partner networks.
We have a suite of low cost, deeply integrated QR payment and loyalty solutions for any industry, including restaurants and hospitality, fuel and convenience, parking and retail, e-commerce and more.
Our aim is to drive the adoption of lower-cost, simpler and more integrated mobile solutions, with in-depth customer insights, to ultimately replace traditional outdated card-based payment and loyalty systems, irrespective of device, operating system or financial institution.
We also offer a robust suite of developer APIs for partners to white-label Zapper services and integrate them into their branded apps and systems.
Popular technologies such as ‘tap-and-go’ are convenient; however, they only address the payment component of the consumer journey, the equivalent of anonymous cash or card payments. The merchant remains blind to who their customers are and in order for consumers to earn loyalty points or qualify for discounts, they are required to present some form of identity – in most cases one of a myriad of plastic store cards – in addition to their payment method. This is an unnecessarily ‘clunky’ and sub-optimal customer experience.
Zapper provides a truly convenient mobile experience. Just scan and pay. Loyalty points are accrued and discounts deducted, in real-time. Simple.
Credit: Brett White
Mangwee: Our Story
Mangwee is a mobile money transfer platform aimed at increasing the rate of financial inclusion especially in rural areas and propelling Zambia and Africa to cash-light economies this is done through the provision of an easy secure and affordable payment platform. The Mangwee platform is not just a mobile money transfer platform but an ecosystem of applications aimed at making people’s lives easy. We have an assortment of innovative applications targeted at improving the lives of the Women, Farmers, Youths and people who are excluded from accessing financial products and services.
Launched in May 2018 after being issued with a designation license by the Central Bank of Zambia, Mangwee provides a range of services including online payment gateways, bill payments, and mobile money services. Mangwee Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder Inonge Imasiku Kampamba started Mangwee with two other Cofounders with a vision for the unbanked to provide them with a quality payment system that is secure and affordable.
Mangwee promotes the use of user-to-user transfers, which it hopes will increase the adoption of mobile money in Zambia. To date Mangwee has registered over 2000 users and has recruited 36 agents who are operating around Zambia. Mangwee charges a fee for every transaction processed on the platform and agents earn a commission for every transaction they successfully process on the platform.
Over two years Mangwee has been in operation, Mangwee payments has gained local and global recognition as a disruptor of electronic payments. The Zambian startup was selected to represent the country at the Women In Africa (WIA) 54 Project Third Annual Summit Edition, which took place in Marrakech on 27th and 28th June 2019 led by the Startup CEO Inonge Imasiku Kampamba.
Currently Mangwee has a women empowerment programme dedicated to empowering women especially in rural communities giving them access to finance and tools to help them set up their businesses. In November 2019 Mangwee signed a partnership with an NGO based in France and Benin called Hirondelle de l’Avenir to pilot a Women Empowerment Program in Zambia which will also be implemented in Benin. The project is justified by the fact that the majority of women are excluded financially because they lack collateral and stable sources of income.
In January 2020, Mangwee was among five Zambian startups that were selected to take part in the FinTech4U Accelerator Programme, which offers prototype funding and access to mentors and business support.
The progarmme was launched via a partnership between the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Lusaka-based incubator BongoHive. The six-month programme, is broken up into three months of dedicated programme and three more of business support and prototype funding.
Mangwee currently has a team of five employees who are professionally qualified in Finance, accounting, information technology, business development and marketing.
2020: Paxful, A Global Crypto Giant Sets Top 3 Priorities For Africa
Paxful Co-Founders, Artur Schabak & Ray Youssef (Source: Paxful)
By almost every metric, Africa has been central to the Paxful story; company shares about their top 3 priorities for Africa
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa- Global peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin marketplace, Paxful, believes that the world has much to learn from Africa about the future of the crypto-economy and that 2020 will be a landmark year for the African crypto and blockchain industry.
With millions of users globally and Africa being the fastest-growing region, Paxful reported that the company processed almost $1.6 billion (R23 billion) in trade volume globally in 2019; the result of a steady increase of 25%+ trade volume growth year-on-year on the platform since the business’ inception in 2015. Paxful currently hosts over three million wallets, 45% of which are from Africa.
Deepen our relationship with our African users
While the peer-to-peer marketplace has enjoyed tremendous success on the continent, the company is not complacent. Paxful leadership intends to spend a lot more time in Africa over the next few years. The aim is to continue to learn from its customers and provide them with the best possible peer-to-peer finance marketplace.
With Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya already among the leading markets, the company also expects to extend its customer base in many more markets where it is seeing a steady increase in trading volumes on the continent like Zambia and Uganda. African trading volume on the Paxful platform grew by over 57% in 2019 and the company hopes to accelerate trading volumes further this year.
Reflecting on the rapid growth of the blockchain and bitcoin sector, research from the professional networking platform Linkedin shows that blockchain tops the list of most in-demand hard skills for 2020. For this reason, another important consideration for Paxful is engaging talent in Africa. The company believes that Africa can become a leader in bitcoin skills development. Paxful hopes to expand African participation in the company’s Global Peer Programme – an initiative to encourage bitcoin users around the world to educate each other about the opportunities offered by the crypto-economy.
“We are very, very bullish on Africa and believe it is critical to the future of the crypto-economy overall. While many parts of the developed world are fixated on speculative activity in the crypto economy, people in Africa are teaching us about the true use cases of bitcoin and the opportunity it presents for greater financial inclusion of the under-banked. As a company, we want to do what we can to ensure that our platform continues to be a bridge to the global economy for our customers” Says Artur Schaback, Co-Founder and COO of Paxful.
In December 2019, Paxful and Binance, the leading global cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume and users, announced its strategic partnership in which Paxful serves as a fiat-to-cryptocurrency on-ramp for Binance, providing numerous payment methods for purchasing Bitcoin to Binance’s global user base.
Paxful has also partnered with many other strategic players in the crypto economy – including the likes of BitMart, BSpin, AirTM, and CoinLogiq – who offer a variety of complementary services to make it as possible for its users to take advantage of the power of P2P finance. Paxful hopes to work with African partners as well.
“Africa has tremendous potential and partnerships are essential in this pivotal time within the cryptocurrency industry. We are actively looking to join forces with African-born crypto players who share our passion and vision for the global crypto-economy and to join our efforts in bringing bitcoin to the unbanked masses across the continent to fundamentally help alleviate poverty, boost economies and create jobs,” says Ray Youssef, CEO and co-founder of Paxful.
Making education and social good a priority
“With bitcoin’s original mission of financial inclusion in mind, Paxful is committed to reaching as many people as possible to help them better understand the opportunities presented by the crypto-economy. With this in mind, education and social development will always be a priority for Paxful,” adds Youssef.
Last year, Paxful undertook an education drive focused on Universities. Beginning with Universities in East and Southern Africa, the initiative has reached over 1000 youths. The education workshops provided key, practical insights to the true use cases of Bitcoin, how to avoid falling prey to bad actors in the crypto-space and served to counter the over-emphasis on Bitcoin speculation. This type of education will continue to reach the youth.
In the same year, the company also launched the aforementioned Paxful Peer Program, a platform encouraging users to educate and support each other as they navigate the bitcoin-economy. The Peer Program was trialed in South Africa and has been extended to include many other markets on the continent and Asia.
To support grassroots education, Paxful will continue to invest in its #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative which has demonstrated how the cryptocurrency community can contribute to social good. Established in 2017, the initiative had raised over R3 million for charities across Africa and the Middle East by 2019.
In January 2020, the company announced that they will be building a third school in its 100-school initiative to bring quality education centers to emerging countries throughout Africa. The third school, which will come fully equipped with a state-of-the-art water well system, will be built in Machakos County, Kenya for children ages 3-6 years old and will kick off with over R400,000 donation from Paxful. The first 2 schools were built in Rwanda.