Michael R. Scotch
In September 2017 we invested in Arifu, a Kenyan based digital platform providing high quality educational content to low income people, including youth.
In a developing market such as Kenya, low income populations struggle to access relevant and affordable information to improve the quality of life. Access to internet remains an obstacle and the information is rarely packaged in an easily accessible way.
Founded in 2013, Arifu solves this problem by providing a digital platform, including a ‘chatbot’ and a content ‘market place’, where content related to agricultural practices, health, entrepreneurship etc. is accessible through sms, without requiring internet access. Arifu aims to leverage Artificial Intelligence, to provide tailored answers to the customers’ questions, ranging from health advice to recommendations on how to maximize the agricultural yield.
Today 560,000 customers benefit from Arifu’s services. As an example, farmers using the Arifu platform for agricultural advice have experienced ~55% increase in agricultural yield and ~190 USD additional income/acre.
Optimizer Foundation has provided a convertible loan alongside the impact investing firms Global Partnerships/Eleos Social Venture Fund and Mercy Corps Social Venture Fund. We are looking forward to work closely with Arifu over the coming years, supporting scale up of the organisation across East Africa and the broader continent.