Ghanaian startup Kwidex, which has launched a crowdfunding platform for African farmers and agribusinesses, has launched in public beta and already seen successful fundraising activity.
Recently named winner of the first Betway Fintech Challenge, taking home GHS20,000 (US$3,800) in prize money, Kwidex was formed after the team met at the Kosmos Innovation Centre Agri-tech Challenge last year.
The startup has developed a web platform that allows farmers and agribusinesses to source funds from the public in exchange for a share of their profits at the end of a farming cycle, project or campaign.
Users of the platform get to choose their own rates of repayment, and Kwidex takes a commission on the amount raised. Since it began its public beta phase in January, Kwidex has reached four regions of Ghana, directly impacted over 60 farmers, and seen farms raise almost US$10,000 from around 100 users.
“Four million Ghanaian farming households have issues with accessing funds for their agribusinesses every year. They would typically resort to informal sources of financing, including the use of middlemen, which has proven highly unreliable, inflexible and expensive,” Seyram Kofi Mantey, Kwidex’s chief executive officer (CEO), told Disrupt Africa.
“We believe the concept of crowdfunding is most suitable in getting funds to players in the agricultural value chain.
Kwidex raised pre-seed funding of US$10,000 from DAI Global LLC last year, and is now planning on raising a US$150,000 seed round.
“We are currently operating in the crop and animal husbandry value chain in Ghana, focusing on vegetables, grains and poultry. We have plans of scaling to other parts of Africa under the right conditions,” Mantey said.