Thursday 13 December 2018

Irish coffee millionaire Bryan Meehan backs African text firm WeFarm

Entrepreneur Bryan Meehan. Photo: Christopher Michel
Entrepreneur Bryan Meehan. Photo: Christopher Michel

John Reynolds

Dublin-born coffee shop multimillionaire Bryan Meehan has joined with the founders of Skype and WordPress to back WeFarm, a text-messaging and online network for small farmers in east Africa to share information.

Meehan, 49, a graduate of Trinity and Harvard Business School, took part in a €4m ($5m) seed funding round in the business, the world's largest farmer-to-farmer digital network.

Having backed the firm alongside Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, Meehan is no stranger to working with big names, having previously co-founded the Nude skincare range with Ali Hewson, the wife of U2's Bono.

He and fellow investors sold a stake in Blue Bottle Coffee chain to Nestle for around €400m last year.

London-headquartered WeFarm is aimed at the more than 500 million smallholder farmers across the world who struggle to access education about farming, key inputs such as fertiliser and to access new markets for their produce.

However, many of them come up with innovative, low-tech solutions to improve their crop yields.

The network enables them to share this knowledge easily and for free with other farmers who might be facing the same challenges.

Sunday Indo Business

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business