WeFarm Helps 140k Off-Grid Farmers Learn Faster, $1.7M Raised, 90% Still Active After 3 Months with CEO Kenny Ewan

Kenny Ewan

In Episode #645, Nathan interviews Kenny Ewan. He is in charge of the overall strategic direction for WeFarm where he oversees the day-to-day activities of the business. After graduating, he spent 7 years in Peru running an international NGO, specializing in work with indigenous communities. Kenny played the lead role in developing WeFarm, before launching it as a startup in 2015.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Chaos Monkeys
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I’m happy to let him make mistakes”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:18 – Nathan introduces Kenny to the show
  • 01:49 – WeFarm is a growth focus model
  • 02:29 – WeFarm offers their services to farmers
    • 02:37 – WeFarm leads farmers to the sellers and WeFarm will take a small transaction commission
  • 03:00 – WeFarm offers information in the space
    • 03:08 – A farmer in Kenya who has no internet access can ask WeFarm a question, through SMS, for free
    • 03:30 – 10-15 people in WeFarm’s network will try to answer the question
    • 03:45 – The people who answer want to share their knowledge about farming
  • 04:12 – WeFarm has generated revenue, but they’re still on pre-profit
  • 04:20 – WeFarm just closed a seed round for $1.7M
  • 04:27 – WeFarm started as an Impact project for Google and they won
    • 04:36 – They used the prize as capital
    • 04:42 – The prize was £500K
  • 05:04 – Team size is 20 and is still growing; they’re around the globe
  • 05:41 – WeFarm uses radio to connect with more farmers
    • 05:51 – WeFarm partnered with radio stations and invited farmers on
    • 06:00 – 4-5K people were joining WeFarm in just an hour
    • 06:12 – WeFarm also partners with businesses where farmers buy
  • 06:45 – WeFarm currently has 140K farmers on their platform
  • 06:55 – WeFarm measures activity by the number of users who actively contribute every month
  • 07:55 – WeFarm is also available online
  • 08:15 – WeFarm has a super active marketplace
  • 08:32 – WeFarm doesn’t incentivize people who answer inquiries, just like Quora
  • 08:50 – WeFarm’s roadmap this year
  • 09:00 – WeFarm has 20 people
  • 09:30 – WeFarm already has a couple of commercial contacts with a major retailer in UK
    • 09:48 – “We have validated our revenue sources”
  • 10:00 – 2017 target revenue is around $50K
  • 11:30 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. A business does NOT always have to be revenue focused; helping people can be a goal in and of itself.
  2. We have a responsibility to help guide those who need it and access those who still do not have the internet.
  3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but be sure to learn from them.

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives