The founders of Swappaholics, Obirikorang and Michael Ocansey have launched another startup, an agribusiness company called AgroCenta.
Both founders were former employees of the agro company Esoko, providers of access to smallholder farmers with inputs and finance through their virtual marketplace.
In a previous interview with TSH, they explained that, Swappaholics was reinventing the ancient barter trade into an online platform where users were able to connect and swap products, skills and services. The main advantage of Swappaholics was that people did not need money to trade hence giving equal access to everyone irrespective of their financial status.
In spite of the support the company had from TURN8, a Dubai based accelerator and other quarters, the business didn’t fly because as explained by the CEO, Francis Obirikorang, “We were faced with user growth. Our numbers trickled down over time because we faced stiff competition from other classifieds in Ghana who had a lot of financial muscles to spend on advertisement.”
They were faced with the difficult decision of either persevering or pivoting. They’ve chosen the latter by going to where they came from, agribusiness with AgroCenta.
AgroCenta, they believe brings forth a lot of opportunities as the agric-sector currently faces the lack of access to market for smallholder farmers in the rural areas, subjecting them to activities of exploitations, and the lack of a coordinated truck delivery system to cart their commodities from farms to markets to sell.
Their solution with AgroCenta is the introduction of an online sales platform that connects smallholder farmers directly to an online market to sell their commodities.
Once farmers get orders for their produce, the company has an Uber-like patented truck system called TrucKR solution and just at the click of a button, farmers gain access to transportation in any village in Ghana. They have a target of serving over 15,000 farmers in 2017 alone with over 8000 presently under their belt.
The company is ably backed by GreenTec Capital Partners who signed an investment agreement partnering with AgroCenta and will be supporting them with funding, business development and network access as an active partner.
With their new found company, the team believes by the adoption of technology, the lives of smallholder farmers are being changed for good!
Find out more about AgroCenta at agrocenta.com
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