Safaricom’s Spark Venture Fund has announced that it will once again be investing in iProcure, a supply chain platform in Kenya. iProcure offers farmers discounts of between 10 and 20 percent every time they purchase farming products.
The online supply chain platform links farmers and farmer cooperatives to manufacturers of agricultural inputs.
“We started the Spark Fund with the aim of supporting emerging startups that use technology to transform lives. As it joins the outstanding crop of Spark Fund investees, iProcure will be instrumental in harnessing the power of technology to improve Kenya’s agri-business processes,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.
To access iProcure, farmers dial *283# and then select which input they would like to purchase. The farmer then receives a voucher which allows them to claim the inputs from an iProcure farm depot or collection point. The company currently covers several counties across Kenya mainly in Central and Rift Valley but has plans to scale to Western and Eastern Kenya this year.
Small Holder Farming
“At iProcure we are all about optimizing rural supply chains. We build both the supply chain technology in addition to ‘on-the-ground’ infrastructure to ensure small holder farming communities get the inputs they require on terms that are convenient and affordable,” said Nicole Galletta, Chief Operations Officer, iProcure.
In August 2015, Sendy – a marketplace for businesses and individuals to connect with drivers to make deliveries simple and transparent – became the first investee of the fund.
mSurvey, a mobile-first research platform that leverages SMS and mobile messaging technology to simplify access to credible, on-demand data became the second investee of the fund.
Other startups backed by the fund include Eneza, a mobile based learning platform that targets students and adults in Kenya and other countries, and Lynk which connects customers with professionals and artisans from fields such as tailoring, carpentry, house helps, waiters, chefs and many others.
Further information on the exact amounts of each of the investments will be unveiled at a later date as Safaricom is not yet prepared to share the information as yet.