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From 0 to 15K USD in our first month for an agtech in Rwanda to raising our first round! AMA

Hi,
My name is Nadia, I live in Kigali, Rwanda. You probably don't know where that is (it's in East Africa near Tanzania, you know mount Kilimanjaro, the big 5 and all that cool stuff)
Rwanda is a tiny landlocked country with a population of 12 million.
I run a no-code academy where we teach young people how to build stuff without code.
I think no-code represents a great opportunity for the continent, if you're african and reading this let's connect on Linkedin I manage a group called "No-code for Africa"
https://www.linkedin.com/in/nadia-mutoni-1b229520/

So as you can guess, the platform is built on a no-code platform.

The problem we're solving is two-fold:
1- small scale farmers in Africa are used to farming staple foods that they can sell off locally, resulting in low income.
2-Rwandans living abroad have disposable income they'd like to invest back home. Many have tried to do so via friends and family but it doesn't always work out because well, they just end up tanking the business venture.

With the platform they can invest in profitable agribusiness opportunities such as chia seeds farming for a healthy return (25-30% per cycle of 4 months)
The farmers can access funds that they only pay back after the harvest.

So far we have digital farmers from USA, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Switzerland and even from right here in Rwanda; middle working class that doesn't have time to deal with farming.

The first month we did 16200$ in sponsorships, that's money paid by digital farmers.
Main acquisition channels are Linkedin, Facebook, whatsapp status, no paid ads so far.

I still do the onboarding, I get to talk to each of the digital farmers.

I was just offered 24 000$ for 20% equity, I know it doesn't sound like much for you VC guys :D
But it means a lot to me, it's a great achievement to get such an offer after 2 months of activity!
I do everything myself for now (vetting new opportunities, marketing, onboarding, community management, customer support)

To all the lurkers reading this, don't wait any longer, just go for it!

It doesn't have to be perfect, just launch.

I've met amazing people along the way.

Happy to answer any questions or connect via Linkedin.

  1. 7

    I lived in Rwanda 4 years ago and loved it. Congratulations and wish you continued success. From Estonia with love ❤

    1. 1

      No way, That's so cool :)
      Thank you for the kind words!
      I'd love to visit Estonia one day.
      Or get the e-residency! There's so much to learn from your country!
      If you ever visit Rwanda again, let's grab Coffee :)

  2. 2

    I'm curious, any reason to take on funding and give up 20% of the company when you made $16k+ in your first month alone? From just what you described it doesn't seem like you really needed money at this point. Interested to hear your thoughts and congrats on the success!

    1. 1

      The first month we did 16200$ in sponsorships, that's money paid by digital farmers.`

      I read that to mean that's how much investment the platform has raised (from the "digital farmers" for the local farmers), and not income for the business itself.

      @nanatoni: Am I reading this correctly? And if so, I'm curious what's your own business model? A cut of the investment raised?

      1. 1

        Yes that's correct.

    2. 1

      Hi,
      Well I haven't taken it, I'm still looking at my options.
      They offer more than money, the incubation period of 2 years can save me 5 years :)

  3. 1

    Congratulations Nadia🎉

    I'd like to know how you've handled initial traction generation, provided that you didn't have the budget for marketing. 💰

    What has been the most successful channels you've used?📡

    An additional Q: How did you make your users engage with your product?⚡
    Developing features (that you thought were useful) on a constant basis? ⚒

    I know it's a lot(already asked 😂) to ask! But I'd be glad 🙏 if you were checking out our tool: https://www.pricewell.io/ and tell me your thoughts on it.

    Thank you

    1. 2

      Pricewell looks great, and the bootstrapper pricing is generous :)
      When did you launch?
      Best of luck!

      1. 1

        We've launched mid-June , 2 months ago and currently we're seeing remarkable traction on the product. We've accepted some payments too, but mainly to accelerate feature adoption.

        We've decided to provide it (almost everything) for free, in exchange for feedback and customer reviews, as our priority is to find what exactly our users need. It has been a really fun experience thus far.

        Are you on Twitter? Would love to further connect with you and your work !

    2. 2

      I'd like to know how you've handled initial traction generation, provided that you didn't have the budget for marketing.

      Word of mouth, posting in relevant facebook or whatsapp groups I'm part of and linkedin.
      So far no paid ads really.

      What has been the most successful channels you've used?📡
      Facebook, Linkedin and Whatsapp

      An additional Q: How did you make your users engage with your product?⚡
      Honestly I can't say I've done a lot, the steps are minimal
      A sponsor makes a pledge, I jump on a call for more details, I send the contract, they make they payment and we start farming.
      The conversion rate from pledger to sponsor is 90%.
      I guess I could improve my top of the funnel conversion, not all sign-ups lead to pledges.
      I send an email every now and then to keep them posted on the progress.

      I know it's a lot(already asked 😂) to ask! But I'd be glad 🙏 if you were checking out our tool: https://www.pricewell.io/ and tell me your thoughts on it.
      Sure thing, let me check it out.

      1. 1

        Great response Nadia. Thanks for the insights and for doing this!
        Hope best of luck with your venture 🎉🙌

  4. 1

    Hey Nadia , Amazing !!
    keep doing you!
    All the best from Ghana (West Africa, to those that dont know ; ) )

    1. 1

      Thank you Yoofi, we really need to schedule that call :)
      here's my whatsapp +250787513501

  5. 1

    Nadia, amazing job!! All the best for you! 😃

  6. 1

    Congrats @nanatoni! Happy to read your story! Keep going! I love when you said, "It doesn't have to be perfect, just launch." Sometimes, we overthink too much.. Happy to connect on Linkedin. Cheers

    1. 1

      Thank you so much :)
      And yes, it's the most important part, if you overthink it, it will never be good enough.
      Feel free to send me a request on Linkedin

  7. 1

    How much of a cut do you take?

    1. 1

      Hi Niko, around 30%.
      Let me know if you have any other questions.

    1. 1

      Thank you for the kind words :)

  8. 1

    Huge congrats on the progress to-date 🎉

    1. 1

      Thank you. Exciting times ahead :)

  9. 1

    good job Nadia. sending ❤️ from Kenya. 🇰🇪

    1. 1

      Love received in Kigali, RW <3
      We should connect, are you on linkedin?

  10. 1

    Good job, Nadia! Projects that help others are always inspiring 🙂

    1. 1

      Thank you. Well I was inspired by many IH, so I hope I can return the favour.

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