FarmDrive in Kenya

FarmDrive is an agricultural data analytics company drives financial services to unbanked and underserved smallholder farmers, while helping financial institutions cost effectively increase their agricultural loan portfolios. Using simple mobile phone technology, alternative credit scoring, and machine learning,
FarmDrive closes the data gap that keeps smallholder farmers from the financial services that would allow them to grow their agri-businesses and increase their incomes.

Business Summary
Potentially creditworthy smallholder farmers are often denied loans because they lack the traditional credit profiles that lenders rely on to evaluate borrowers: assets, business records, and credit histories. Financial institutions do not have well-designed and operationally efficient methods of accurately assessing and
managing smallholder farmers’ risk, making them reluctant to lend to farmers. Farmers are therefore left with little access to credit, and financial institutions are left with a hole in their client base and product line.

FarmDrive’s flagship solution is an alternative credit scoring model that assess the creditworthiness of smallholder farmers who can’t be scored by traditional credit models, and are therefore deemed uncreditworthy. Furthermore, the model enables financial institutions to accurately and efficiently lend to smallholder farmers.

The credit scoring algorithm targets each farming vertical and geographical region by aggregating numerous streams of big and small data sets: Socio-Demographic, Social Network, Behavioral, Agronomic, Environmental, Economic, Mobile, and Satellite.
FarmDrive’s SMS/Android mobile app serves as the first point of data access. With this app, farmers can apply for and receive loans via mobile money wherever they are, track their revenues and expenses, and view reports on their farming and economic activities. FarmDrive validates the data collected through the app in order to gain insight into farmers’ social and individual behaviors, farm management abilities, and cash flows.

In addition to the validated farm-level data collected through the app, FarmDrive also collects big data from satellite companies, weather stations, government agencies, and more. Using these aggregated data, the model generates credit scores and provides automated decisioning tools that enable financial institutions to
develop loan products that fit the economic and agronomic needs of smallholder farmers.

In 2016 FarmDrive completed the initial phase of product-market fit in partnership with a Kenyan MFI. Through this pilot over KES 15 mil (USD 150,000) in loans were disbursed throughout 16 counties in Kenya. The pilot served as a proof point that better risk assessment can unlock capital for smallholder farmers, and informs the product development we’re doing today to drive more capital to farmers.

L.R 1/437 Kindaruma Rd, Nairobi, Kenya | +254 795 518 442 | |

Rita Kimani and Peris Bosire , are young changemakers who are passionate about using technology to improve lives. Both grew up in smallholder farming communities and experienced first-hand the lack of financing available to most farmers. They went on to earn First Class Honours in Computer Science at University of Nairobi and gain technical experience from leading firms, including IBM and PwC. They used their personal, academic, and professional experiences to build FarmDrive.

Rita and Peris have been recognized for their work with FarmDrive and their roles as leaders in their communities. Rita is a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals and Peris, an Ashoka
Changemaker , won the inaugural Queen’s Young Leaders Award and Commonwealth Youth Award for Excellence in Development Work in 2016.

Awards and Recognition
FarmDrive’s unique and innovative model has garnered both national and international attention, and won several awards. In 2017, FarmDrive has won the inaugural Roddenberry Prize and Digital Africa Startup Challenge sponsored by the French Development Agency . In 2016, FarmDrive won the Thomson Reuters Africa Startup Challenge , earned second prize at the Fincluders Startup Challenge and was a semi-finalist in the Lending & Finance Category of the African FinTech Awards . Additionally, FarmDrive has participated in The Unreasonable Institute and Village Capital startup accelerators.

Notable Press
Fast Company: This Kenyan Startup Uses Mobile Phones To Build Credit For Farmers
Techweez: Kenyan Startup FarmDrive Uses Data Analytics to Connect Unbanked Farmers to Financial
Capital FM: Safaricom Spark Fund backs agricultural analytics startup
Business Daily: Firm uses credit-scoring database to boost farmers’ loan access
L.R 1/437 Kindaruma Rd, Nairobi, Kenya | +254 795 518 442 | |