Brastorne Enterprises Selected As Winner of $1.5 million 2022 Ayute Africa Challenge

Local agritech startup Brastorne Enterprises has been selected as one of the three winners of the 2022 Ayute Africa challenge, bagging a portion of the $1.5 million grant. Other winners were ThriveAgric from Nigeria and DigiCow from Kenya.

Apart from the grant, winners of the challenge will also receive ongoing support from a team of expert advisers—accomplished business veterans—to help them translate their funding into an aggressive expansion strategy. 

Speaking on being selected one of the winners of the challenge, Martin Stimela, co-founder and CEO of Brastorne, said, “About 80% of Africans cannot afford smartphones or expensive data — but they do have feature phones, and Brastorne is ensuring those phones connect farmers, youth and women to the resources they need.” 

“We look forward to working with Heifer International to connect the rural poor with equitable access to markets, information and community,” added Stimela.

The Ayute Africa Challenge is an initiative by Heifer International to support young entrepreneurs developing affordable tech innovations as they work to scale their businesses and in the process making new services and technologies available to African farmers to overcome long-standing challenges while attracting a new generation to unlock the huge potential of agriculture on the continent.

Brastorne harnesses USSD technology of basic feature phones to connect millions of rural Africans to information, markets, legal services and community, narrowing Africa’s digital divide.

Brastorne services are used by 40% of Botswana’s active feature phone users and the company launched services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2021. The startup is one of the 60 beneficiaries of the Google for Start-ups Black Founders Fund Africa 2022 program and also won the Heifer International Prize last year, bagging a $125,00 grant.

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