BY TOM JACKSON
Nigerian startup Farm365, a vegetable and fruit box delivery marketplace that sources quality farm produce directly from rural farmers and sells to businesses in urban areas, is looking for pre-seed funding as it bids to eradicate food wastage.
Launched in 2020, Farm365 work closely with rural farmers to rescue seasonal vegetables from waste, connecting sellers with customers via its digital platform.
Business or private customers are able to select what produce they want and have it delivered to their door using the platform, with Farm365 already working with six B2B and 11 B2C customers.
“A third of the food grown in the world is wasted. We believe this has to stop; all food grown must be eaten. More than 40 per cent of what is harvested in the rural communities is wasted in the field as a result of inaccessible markets and ineffective logistics services,” said Abdulaziz Kabir, founder of Farm365.
The startup aims to address this, and having seen some uptake is now seeking funding to scale more quickly. Bootstrapped since inception, it is now starting a pre-seed raise to help it achieve product market fit and continue to build what customers want.
“We have more than 300 vegetable growers across the country working with us,” Kabir said.
“Looking at the processes involved across the value chain, a lot of tasks are done before food is set on the table – scouting for rural farmers, travelling to various farm clusters across the country… As a company working on the food-to-fork process, we make sure we streamline our operations through quality, effective logistics’, cleaning, sorting, weighing and packaging. We have partners that help in easing the process starting from the farms, logistics and warehousing.”
Farm365, which makes money by direct selling farm produce to hotels, restaurants and grocery shops, is reporting 10X growth in revenues in the last two months, and says work is in progress to acquire more customers.
“As a startup we are constrained by resources,” said Kabir. “We leverage on partnerships with various farmers cooperatives, stakeholders and cluster leaders that help us in reaching out to hundreds of growers in rural areas. We had to travel to these rural communities for sensitisation and awareness, which was very challenging and tough.”
Yet the hard work is starting to pay off, and with paying customers on the rise Farm365 is now looking to the future.