HelloChoice, the South African agri-fintech startup, has closed a major investment from Standard Bank following several partnerships. The 25% equity deal with the bank will let the startup continue to operate its trading platform and promote market efficiency.
Founded in 2018 by Graeme Jarvie and Grant Jacobs. HelloChoice is a digital trading and auction platform that is transforming the agricultural trade by directly connecting Farmers and Buyers. During its first 30 months of operation, HelloChoice has had over 2 000 users join and traded over R100 million.
In 2020, the startup partnered with Standard Bank on the OneFarm hunger relief and food security programme. The programme utilised the startup’s platform to connect farmers with feeding schemes and charities to help them donate surplus food.
As of 31 August, OneFarm Share donates 3 200 tons of food to children and communities. More than half of the donated produce is distributed to one million beneficiaries through 750 registered organisations.
“Standard Bank’s equity purchase in HelloChoice affirms the bank’s aspirations to play a broader role in the agriculture ecosystem, and forms part of the wider ecosystem strategy, which houses OneFarm and OneFarm Share,” Head of Ecosystems at Standard Bank, Wendy Pienaar said. “It demonstrates the bank’s commitment to building agri-entrepreneurship and food security in the country.”
HelloChoice will soon roll out its next major mobile app release which will include TradeAlerts for buyers and sellers. Future releases will also include machine learning and blockchain technologies.
“HelloChoice is spearheading the modernisation of agricultural trade as we digitise food production and trade, to help unlock and protect value in this sector so central to nourishing and sustaining life,” co-founder and CEO, Grant Jacobs, said in a statement.
“The strategic investment will help us to further fund ongoing tech investment and operational capacity, as we leverage our complementary offerings and strengths to deliver more innovative services and solutions to customers in South Africa and across our continent.”