Gambian startup Farm Fresh is targeting expansion into other West African markets after being chosen to take part in the Make-IT accelerator programme run by the Lagos-based Co-Creation Hub (CcHub).
Launched in 2014, Farm Fresh is The Gambia’s first online fresh food e-commerce platform. It partners with farmers across the country to help them find a market for their produce. Users are able to purchase food on the site and have it delivered to their homes.
Disrupt Africa reported earlier this month the startup had been selected by the CcHub as one of the 15 companies that will take part in its Make-IT accelerator programme next year, which has been designed to strengthen entrepreneurs’ skills for scaling their innovation and achieving growth, cooperation and investment readiness.
Chief executive officer (CEO) Modou NS Njie said he hopes taking part in the programme will help Farm Fresh meet its expansion and growth targets.
Emeka Afigbo, strategic products partnerships manager at Facebook, says he is often reminded just how much the technical ecosystem in Africa has grown and how the internet is drastically changing the continent.
“It is a big milestone to have been selected as it will give us the opportunity to acquire more business skills and to expand our network reach,” he said.
“We are currently operating in The Gambia and there are plans to expand to Senegal, Sierra Leone and Nigeria within the next five years. We are looking for funding to help us achieve this objective.”
Njie started Farm Fresh after finding there was a demand for fresh vegetables and fruits in The Gambia, and he decided to fill this gap by setting up the online platform.
“Currently we are the only company offering such a service. Uptake had been a bit slow, but over time many people have come to appreciate such a value adding service. There is still room for further improvement.”
That said, Farm Fresh is already working with 20 farmers and has around 300 registered users in what is a relatively small market
“In terms of revenue we add a 10% markup on discounted products purchased from farmers. Payment is done online, via mobile money, or cash on delivery,” Njie said. The startup is now looking for $50,000 to help it scale.
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