Ghanaian agritech startup TroTro Tractor has raised US$50,000 funding from oil and gas firm KOSMOS Energy, as well as mentorship from the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST).
Disrupt Africa reported in March KOSMOS Energy partnered MEST to launch a corporate social investment programme, known as the Kosmos Innovation Centre, that aims to assist entrepreneurs working in high impact sectors through funding and support.
Each year, the KIC chooses a focus sector where it aims to nurture the development of market-based solutions that address various development challenges across the sector’s value chain.
The first year of the programme focused on agriculture, with KIC making two initial investments, giving US$50,000 each to Kenya’s Ghalani, and local startup TroTro Tractor.
TroTro Tractor provides a GPS enabled mobile platform that connects farmers to mechanized farming equipment within their vicinity whenever they need it, enabling farmers to request, schedule, and pre-pay tractor services.
“We are onto something big. This programme encourages smart young entrepreneurs to look at agriculture differently. With the type of innovation fostered by the KIC, our young people can make it a more dynamic sector and attractive career path with plenty of opportunity,” said KOSMOS Energy vice president and country manager for Ghana, Joe Mensah.
In addition to the funding, both startups will work out of the MEST incubator facility with full access to the MEST community and resources, as well as access to hands on expert and technical support from the MEST team.
“We’re thrilled to be working with KOSMOS Energy on the Kosmos Innovation Center and agritech accelerator. This a mutually beneficial partnership whereby each party brings their respective strengths to the table,” said Katie Sarro, managing director at MEST.
“We’re proud at what we’ve accomplished thus far: we have identified opportunities where there are gaps within the agriculture sector, worked closely with KOSMOS on market research and validation, identified the strongest teams to solve these challenges, and we look forward to continuing to mentor and nurture these promising agritech startups through funding, incubation, and business and technical support.”