SA’s investment company Founders Factory Africa (FFA) has partnered with Small Foundation, a Dublin-based philanthropic foundation, to design, build and scale over 18 agtech startups across sub-Saharan Africa.
As part of the Small Foundation investment, African early-stage agtech Founders and entrepreneurs can apply to join the Founders Factory Africa Venture Scale or Venture Build portfolios
FFA will invest cash of $100,000 (R1,4 million) -$250,000 (R3, 6 million) and hands-on technical support to the entrepreneurs to grow their venture
A full-time team of digital and technical experts based in Johannesburg, Nigeria, Kenya and London will build and grow the startups across Africa.
“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,” Roo Rogers, CEO of Founders Factory Africa said.
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.
“This is a pivotal time to invest in the growing area of agtech in Africa, which has transformative potential for local livelihoods,” Conor Brosnan, CEO and Chair of Small Foundation said.
“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.”
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 $7 million 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 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,” Zweli Manyathi, CEO of Business and Commercial Clients, Standard Bank said.
“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.”