SC Ventures launches Tawi to improve financial access for smallholder farmers in Kenya
SC Ventures, the fintech, investment and ventures arm of Standard Chartered, has launched Kenya-based Tawi, a B2B agritech marketplace for secure e-commerce transactions for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Tawi aims to provide farmers with a viable and consistent market, price transparency and efficient supply chain management.
“Tawi will connect our farmers to an estimated KES 200 billion (US$1.6 billion) market opportunity,” said Cherotich Rutto, founder and CEO of Tawi. “Through this platform, farmers will earn more for their produce while also improving the supply-chain efficiency of high-quality produce to commercial clients. We are doing this by aggregating demand and simplifying the process for selling and buying fresh produce at a commercial scale.”
Tawi aims to help farmers improve crop quality, scale and make the food and agriculture value chain more sustainable. The platform will source fresh produce directly from farmers. In line with promoting diversity and inclusion, Tawi will ensure that at least 25 per cent of the farmers it partners with are women and youth.
SC Ventures started incubating Tawi in 2022 to address some of the smallholder farmers’ challenges, such as lack of viable marketplaces, which resulted in post-harvest losses. Other challenges that Tawi is tackling include poor quality produce, fragmented supply chains due to inappropriate infrastructure and too many middlemen. Since Tawi started testing the platform in February, it has onboarded over 1,000 farmers, 250 commercial kitchens and fulfilled over 1000 deliveries.
The agritech platform is starting off by supplying commercial kitchens, which represent around US$210 million (KES 28 billion) in consistent and predictable market opportunity.
Commercial kitchens can order fresh produce directly on the platform and Tawi’s logistic team will collect the produce from the farm and deliver within 12 to 18 hours. By improving delivery efficiency, commercial kitchens can also use the produce for longer and reduce food wastage.
“We are delighted for the launch of Tawi, a fintech that understands agriculture is more than just a business—it’s a way of life, rooted in community, hard work, and dedication,” said Jiten Arora, Member, SC Ventures. “Like SC Ventures, Tawi believes in the power of partnerships to drive success and growth for partners and business.”
Tawi has adopted a phased approach to building its marketplace and business model. In the future, Tawi plans to embed financial services including loans and micro-insurance, and value-added services including offering agronomic support for best agricultural practices.
“At SC Ventures, we incubate new business models, new ventures with the ambition to rewire the DNA in banking to solve real-world problems. We are proud to have incubated Tawi, which will help transform and make the agriculture and food value chain more sustainable from farm to fork,” said Alex Manson, Member, SC Ventures. “Tawi is a welcomed addition to SC Ventures’ ecosystem. We look forward to exploring more ways of improving financial inclusions for farmers in Kenya and beyond.”