Some of the exciting subjects we have explored before are online marketplaces and crowdfunding. It is paramount to have platforms aligned to specific domains or industries. For instance, having an online marketplace specific to players in the agricultural industry is essential. The same applies to having a crowdfunding platform set up for the same industry. It is the latter that this article is centered on. I recently chatted with Dalithemba Mdlongwa, the Public Affairs Manager of BauernhofX(BFX), the recently launched Zimbabwean startup we are unpacking.
Kindly Tell Me About Your Startup
BauernhofX is a crowd-farming platform that connects farmers and agri-partners in the field of sustainable agriculture. It allows farmers to showcase their projects and seek financial support while agri-partners can find and c-fund innovative agricultural ventures. Our primary goal is to bridge the funding gap between small to medium-scale farmers, who often face challenges accessing capital via loans from financial institutions. Farmers can showcase their projects through our platform, access financial support from agri-partners, and receive guidance from experienced agri-specialists.
We aim to create a unique investment asset class centered on agriculture. By connecting agri-partners with promising agricultural projects, we provide a novel avenue for investment that combines financial returns with the satisfaction of contributing to global food security. We seek to expand our reach globally, connecting farmers and agri-partners from different regions and backgrounds. This diversity will enrich our platform and contribute to a more resilient and interconnected agricultural community.
When And How Did It Start?
It all started in March 2022 when one of the founding members was left to manage over 50 hectares of land. He tried accessing capital, which proved a big hassle, so we engaged other farmers. We realized that it was a big problem, so we started researching. We discovered that the agriculture funding gap is around US$400 billion worldwide. This is a huge pain point for most small to medium-scale farmers. We decided to build a business that helps solve this issue.
What Is Your Long-Term Business Vision?
BauernhofX’s long-term business vision is to become a global leader in agricultural innovation and sustainability, fostering a world where food security is ensured, small to medium-scale farmers thrive, and responsible investment in agriculture is commonplace. We envision a future where BauernhofX is pivotal in addressing global food security challenges. We aspire to be a driving force behind increased agricultural production, sustainable farming practices, and equitable access to resources worldwide.
We intend to leverage technological advancements to enhance our platform’s capabilities continually. In the long run, we see BauernhofX as a leader in agricultural technology, offering innovative tools and data-driven insights to benefit farmers and investors. In the long term, BauernhofX envisions becoming the go-to platform for farmers seeking financial support, agri-partners searching for meaningful investments, and investors looking for ethical and profitable opportunities in agriculture.
4. What Is Your Product And Service Range, Plus Reach?
An overview of BauernhofX (BFX)’s range of products and services is as follows:
Agricultural Project Listings
Farmers can list their agricultural projects, showcasing details about their initiatives, resource needs, and expected outcomes.
Agri-partners and investors can explore various agricultural projects on our platform. They can choose projects that align with their interests, values, and financial goals.
Collaboration and Crowdfunding
BFX facilitates collaborative crowd-farming by connecting farmers with agri-partners and investors. Agri-partners can financially support projects while farmers receive the necessary resources to succeed.
Our platform fosters a global network of users, allowing farmers and agri-partners from various geographical areas to collaborate.
What To Expect From BFX:
Innovation: BauernhofX is committed to innovation in agriculture. Users can expect access to cutting-edge tools and technologies that enhance farming practices and investment opportunities.
Transparency: We prioritize transparency in all our interactions. Users can expect clear and open communication regarding project details, investment terms, and financial matters.
Impact: Our brand is dedicated to positively impacting food security and agriculture. Users can expect that their participation in BFX contributes to broader efforts to address global food security challenges.
Community: We foster a supportive and collaborative community of farmers, agri-partners, and investors. Users can expect to connect with like-minded individuals with a passion for agriculture.
Who Constitutes Your Team?
It is a team of 3. Annele Ndhlovu (CEO), aged 26, studied Diesel Plant Fitting at Bulawayo Polytechnic and does small-scale poultry farming. Dalithemba Mdlongwa (PAM), aged 26, studied Applied Biology and Biochemistry at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST); works as a Lab Scientist, and comes from a family majoring in horticulture. Sipho Moyo (CTO), aged 23, is currently doing Part 4 at NUST, studying Water and Civil engineering, and is self-taught in most core programming languages.
How Do You Cater For Your Financial And Material Needs?
We rely on bootstrapping from personal savings.
What Challenges Are You Currently Facing?
Registration is hard since there are no clear startup laws in Zimbabwe. Marketing is also hectic due to skepticism from people when presented with a new product. Educational programs are needed. Again, bootstrapping is hard on its own.
What Do You Need To Optimize And Grow Your Startup?
An accelerator program that can help us in building a global brand and doing things that scale. Plus, financial support to meet the marketing needs and our educational programs so that we can optimize growth, do it fast and support both the farmers and agri-partners.
Are You Open For Business Partnerships Or Investments?
Yes, business partnerships, as long as we align and grow. As for investment, we are trying to be a venture capital-backed business. This is because it is hard to appeal to the average retail investor who does not understand that it is for the long hold.
You can check out BauernhofX (BFX) here. You can contact BauernhofX (BFX) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact them via WhatsApp at +263 77 100 6589. They are also on X and Instagram.