[South Africa] Founders Factory Africa partners with Small Foundation to champion digitization of agriculture
Founders Factory Africa (FFA), the Johannesburg headquartered venture development and investment company, has partnered with Small Foundation, a Dublin-based philanthropic foundation focused on the rural and agriculture sector in sub-Saharan Africa, to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to build and scale agtech startups across the continent.
Together FFA and Small Foundation will support over 18 agtech startups from across sub-Saharan Africa with their ideas and ventures to address challenges across the entire agricultural value chain. The partnership stands to make a significant impact across the continent, by supporting agtech startups who can innovate and improve the delivery of a range of services to smallholder farmers and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the agricultural sector.
Small Foundation supports the eradication of extreme poverty in Africa by catalysing income-generating opportunities, particularly for those in rural areas. Small Foundation will work with FFA ventures, providing access to networks, entrepreneurs and investors across Africa.
Conor Brosnan, CEO and Chair of Small Foundation said: “This is a pivotal time to invest in the growing area of agtech in Africa, which has transformative potential for local livelihoods. We are excited to see FFA’s highly-skilled team work with immensely talented African entrepreneurs to deliver scaled solutions to some of the biggest challenges faced by the sector.”
Roo Rogers, CEO of Founders Factory Africa said: “Technology can create and leverage new information, new tools, new ways of conceptualising, predicting, and working for a smarter, cleaner and more productive future. The potential is massive and is ready to be supported. Together ourselves and Small Foundation will find and support agtech ventures that can be sustained, scaled and, ultimately, impact rural livelihoods.”
Zweli Manyathi, CEO, Business and Commercial Clients, Standard Bank said: “The digitisation of agriculture is essential to facilitating transformation of African agribusinesses. Technology and mechanisation have proven to reduce costs and enhance productivity while enriching the entire agricultural supply chain. As Standard Bank, we remain committed to supporting development programmes like FFA as part of our ongoing drive to unlock the immense potential of this sector over the long term.”
Agtech is the latest sector to be supported by FFA, who is already supporting fintech and healthtech entrepreneurs in Africa. To date, FFA has invested in and supported more than 23 ventures to scale across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, which collectively have raised over $7M following their time with the programme. As support grows for entrepreneurs and their businesses, FFA is expanding its team of specialists and is looking for product, growth, and design experts.
The FFA model includes its hands-on Venture Scale programme, which develops and scales early-stage businesses through a bespoke six-month programme, whilst the Venture Build programme builds completely new businesses focused on addressing key agtech issues on the continent. Through FFA, each startup receives an investment of between $100,000 and $250,000 as well as access to its experienced and knowledgeable pool of talent that covers all aspects needed to scale - including product development, UX/UI, tech and engineering, investment support, business development and growth marketing.
In addition to hands-on support from FFA, participating agtech startups will have access to global capital, talent and knowledge transfer through the Founders’ group that includes Founders Factory in the U.K, and a network of world class entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and successful startups across Africa, Europe, the UK and the US.