Temple Bright advises social enterprise Wefarm on $11 million Series A-Plus investment

Law firm Temple Bright has advised Wefarm Limited, the world’s largest platform for small scale farmers, on an $11 million Series A-Plus round to expand its SMS service into an online platform.

Since 2015, Wefarm has provided 2.5 million farmers with a free, AI-driven SMS tool to connect them with each other and a trusted marketplace. This platform expansion marks a new moment of connectivity for hundreds of millions of farmers worldwide.  

The round was led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from new and existing investors, including True Ventures, Rabo Frontier Ventures, LocalGlobe, June Fund and AgFunder. This round of investment brings Wefarm’s total funding to $32 million.

Wefarm’s platform enables farmers to connect to their community, so they can know more, buy smarter, and sell better. To date, 2.5 million farmers have connected with one another for free and without access to the internet via the Wefarm SMS platform. The company pioneered this offline technology for the market in 2015. Over 37 million knowledge-sharing conversations have taken place on the Wefarm SMS service, while the marketplace has generated $29,000,000 in sales. The online expansion of the SMS service features a forum-based platform. This will enable farmers to work together to solve problems, support each other and aggregate their buying and selling power to change the global supply chain.

This investment enables Wefarm to supercharge the development of its online platform and marketplace, so it can continue to connect farmers to the knowledge and resources they need to succeed at scale.

“WeFarm is building the definitive platform and network for the world’s biggest vertical,” said Wefarm Founder and CEO, Kenny Ewan. “This is perhaps the largest community on earth and yet it’s been vastly underserved by tech. Today, the community is ready to expand into an online space with us. We have years of learnings and millions of data points to strengthen our first-mover advantage as we build the online expansion of Wefarm for hundreds of millions of farmers.

“By building a highly engaged community of millions of smallholder farmers, Wefarm has created a powerful platform providing greater access to vital knowledge and information, which allows farmers to unlock greater economic potential from their land,” said Kamran Adle, early stage investor at Octopus Ventures.

“In practice that might mean understanding which fertilisers work best, what the market price is for certain goods, or new farming techniques that result in better yields, all of which can make a significant difference to livelihoods. It’s also an enormous market with more than 400 million smallholder farmers globally who collectively spend around $400 billion on farming inputs. There is a huge opportunity for Kenny and the team at Wefarm to achieve incredible scale and we’re excited for the launch of its digital platform which will further accelerate growth.”

Temple Bright corporate partner Tori MacLeod, who led the firm’s advice on the deal, said: “It was a real pleasure to work with Kenny and the team at Wefarm on this important fundraising. The Wefarm tool is having a huge positive impact for farmers across the globe and we are delighted to play a part in facilitating its progress.”

Temple Bright was launched in Bristol in 2010, using a tech-enabled, streamlined business model. It opened as second office in London EC2 in 2013 and now has 76 partners, evenly spread across the two locations. The firm advises clients ranging from startups to PLCs across a range of sectors, with significant expertise in technology.

This article appeared on the Bdaily website on 29 March 2021.