Stock? Virtual Currency? No, Livestock!
I have not written about Sweden for a long time, but a friend of mine living in Sweden has just told me that she found an interesting startup firm specializing in agriculture.
Then, I searched for some information about this startup, but I realized that what the startup has worked on is not only interesting, but it also has a large potential to deal with one of the biggest global issues, the poverty in Africa.
In fact, this startup company won the Best Social Enterprise 2017 award as part of Business Challenge Sweden competition on October 11, 2017.
Ari.farm is a mission-driven startup that has developed an innovative online platform that enables anyone anywhere in the world to easily invest in livestock in Africa by buying, owning and selling animals online.
Investment in Livestock in Somalia
The app “Ari.farm” is an online platform where you could buy a variety of animals in Somalia such as goat, sheep, chicken, cow, camel, etc. In addition, this also enables you to sell the animals that you own (when they grow up) and you are able to receive capital gains.
The founder of Ari.farm Mohamed M Jimale was born and grew up in Somalia in his childhood. His family was a nomad since they had been a livestock farmer. Mohamed moved to Sweden as a refugee in 2010 and he started working on his own projects and gained experience as a personnel of the United Nations.
In 2016, a severe drought hit Somalia and it affected the lives of a whole bunch of nomads (50% of Somalian’s lives), as revenues created by the livestock business in Somalia accounted for 40% of the country’s economy. This negative consequence inspired Mohamed to face a challenge of improving livestock farmers’ lives. As his study background was associated with IT, he decided to create an app (Ari.farm) in order to connect Somalian nomads to people from around the world.
He launched Ari.farm in August 2016. Ever since then, he and his team have tackled how to make the whole livestock market more efficient with technology.
What is unique about their business model is that it has generated 3 big impacts in different ways.
◼︎ Job Creation
The company has already hired 15 people as team members including farmers, women and youth. The number of members is expected to increase since the business scale has grown.
◼︎ Market Creation
Ari.farm has provided a trustworthy market with local farmers in order for them to sell their animals fairly. For offering the application service, Ari.farm buys animals from them all year round.
◼︎ Building New Farms
Ari.farm has built their own farms in order to take good care of animals that they have bought by providing better feed, water and medicine. This has benefitted not only themselves, but also multiple parties concerned such as investors, nomads, the local economy, etc. The more animals’ living environment improves, the more we can expect animals to grow up well. At the end of the day, the investors can have a high likelihood that receiving large profits by selling well-grown animals.
The value of animals can be expected to rise as they grow up. Until then, Ari.farm is in charge of taking care of the animals that you own. When you want to sell the animals, Ari.farm will also do it for you.
Then, you can either cash your capital gains or invest them in other animals. In addition, just recently, they have said,
“New camels joined our farm in Mogadishu this week. Soon our global camel owners will receive dividends from the sales of milk from their camels. Get your camel today!”.
This means that your revenue stream of Ari.farm is not only capital gains, but also dividends like owning shares. For instance, since they opened their first camel farm, they have tested the market for camel milk in Somalia.
Last month, they launched the first online camel milk delivery service in the country called “Hormaal” together with their local partners.
Revenues from the milk are mainly used to cover the maintenance costs for the animals.
However, starting from the third quarter of this year, they are planning to offer dividends to camel owners from the milk sales.
As a camel owner, you will get a dividend quarterly from the milk which will be based on 5% of the camel’s purchase value. Camel owners will receive dividends for 6 quarters or until they sell their camel. To be eligible for dividends from the milk, a user must own at least 50% of a camel.
Recording of milk dividends will start from June 1, 2018. The first distribution will be made at the end of the 3rd quarter. Payments will be deposited to owner’s balance in the app.
However, as this entrepreneurial project has worked on one of the most challenging global issues, there are still many hurdles to overcome.
Apparently, some sort of friction happened between the firm and livestock owners (investors).
So, it might be better for you to consider investing in their business in the long-term perspective.
Sometimes, they have a bargain sale like ordinary shops. Therefore, you might be able to buy animals cheaply. If you are sick of owning shares, bonds