M-farm to launch price information mobile apps in June
M-farm Limited will launch its brand new mobile applications for agricultural commodity price information on 5th June 2012 at Ole Sereni Hotel, Nairobi. The launch which will be officiated by Dr. Bitange Ndemo, Kenya’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication will be held in the evening of the first day of East Africa’s regional mobile startup pitching conference – Pivot East. The mobile apps to be launched are on Android and Samsung’s Bada mobile platforms. At the launch, the company will unveil its revamped web and mobile technology solution including a new SMS short code for market transparency in agricultural commodity trading. The mobile solution also facilitates collective buying of agricultural inputs and collective selling of agricultural produce.
In June 2011, while being a finalist of Pivot 25, the region’s first mobile startup pitching conference, the company drew the attention of local and international investors. In what M-farm’s CEO describes as one of the less obvious advantages of being a finalist at the annual regional startups competition, the company caught the attention of Tech4trade, an international impact investment organization. This was captured in Tech4trade’s blog as its Executive William Hoyle followed the proceedings of Pivot 25 through the conference’s live video stream and live twitter feeds. This would culminate in the organization’s investment in M-farm announced earlier in the year. Mfarm’s launch planned to coincide with Pivot East this year is a statement how important the regional mobile startups conference has become to mobile developers and entrepreneurs in East Africa.
M-farm, a startup incubated at m:lab East Africa has existed for under two years so far. The company and its ambitions have been featured much in both national and international media. Besides being a finalist in 2011’s Pivot 25, the company has also won many accolades including winning the IPO48 competition in 2010 and becoming one of infoDev’s top 20 SMEs in 2011. In 2012, the Company’s CEO Ms. Jamila Abass became one of the first African entrepreneurs to be admitted to the Unreasonable Institute’s international fellowship program. These successes and the company’s progress towards improving productivity and livelihoods of farmers make it easy to forgive one for imagining that the company is much older than its under-two-years existence.
Being one of the companies founded at iHub that have so far progressed to be incubated at m:lab East Africa, M-farm continues to steadily grow and to achieve new milestones with the support of the iHub community. Apart from milestones it has achieved in new product development and new investments, the company has achieved other growth milestones such as steadily increasing its core staffing from its 3 founders only to 18 full time staff in Kenya. The company has also achieved revenue growth including providing market data to television and other media stations in Kenya.
In the year 2012, M-farm’s growth path has been propped up further with support from Samsung, one of the world’s largest consumer electronics company. Samsung will be sponsoring M-farm’s launch event program among other contributions to M-farm and others in East Africa’s mobile startup scene.