Contxto – There’s a new food initiative combining e-commerce and agrotech in Colombia, and its name is Waruwa. Within five months, the startup has already registered over 1,000 food producers, according to a recent press release.
In the process, restaurants, schools, and retailers in five Colombian cities are benefiting from the solution. So far, the Waruwa app has attracted 600 customers while selling over 260 different types of produce.
Even better, the young startup has reportedly grown an average of 30 percent per month, all while reducing prices for fruits and vegetables by 30 percent compared to mainstream market values.
Founded by Nelson Rodríguez, Andrés Ramírez and Artur Jiménez, WARUMA is a tech platform connecting farmers with transparency and reliability. Through the app, partners can sell their fruits and vegetables to customers, including restaurants, shops, supermarkets, schools, etc.
Overall, the solution strives to strengthen the production chains for fruits and vegetables in Colombia. From the sellers’ perspective, benefits range from optimal pricing, transparency, risk management as well as buyer synergy. All the while, consumers benefit by accessing some of the most affordable fresh food in Colombia.
Despite Colombia’s agriculture sector diminishing in GDP value, there’s still high domestic demand, not to mention lots of biodiversity. Oftentimes, though, rural farming families don’t benefit from the market conditions due to logistical challenges and heavy third-party intermediation. As a result, consumers also pay high prices.
Agrotech startups in Colombia
To curb this, startups such as WARUMA eliminate the need for intermediaries throughout the food supply chain by functioning as a “farm-to-restaurant” platform.
According to a recent WARUMA press release, there are 25 apps based in Colombia offering these sort of marketplace solutions. From this group, we have previously covered startups such as Frubana that’s offering similar services as Waruwa.
Back in June, Frubana announced expansion efforts to Mexico and Brazil outside of its native Colombia. While some serve as online marketplaces for agriculturalists, none of them have scaled due to the apparent lack of logistics.
Recognizing these challenges, Waruwa tries to fill this logistical void by being the conduit between rural operations and urban hubs.
“We promote productive alternatives for rural families at risk of poverty,” said Rodriguez, who’s an anthropologist, environmentalist, and researcher, in a press release. Specifically, he focuses on the globalization of South American agriculture while finishing his Geography Ph.D. at the University of Manchester.
“That’s why we foster associativity as a mechanism to improve production and logistics processes in rural areas because we believe that this is the way to achieve economic sustainability.”
E-commerce and agrotech solution
To offer more logistics in the supply chain, the Waruwa team has combined all of its knowledge on agriculture, marketing and AI to develop the app. Today, there are over 600 customers capable of purchasing more than 260 different varieties of fruits and vegetables.
At its core, WARUMA eliminates the need for middle-men throughout the supply chain, which ultimately lowers consumer prices. Thanks to its logistics network, the Colombian startup personally transports the goods between sellers and buyers.
Moving forward, it also hopes to use more statistics and data that they collect in the field. This way, it’ll be better able to reduce the volatility of fruit and vegetable prices in Colombia, and potentially, the rest of Latin America. Ultimately, WARUMA hopes to effectively be able to predict stock prices within the industry.
For optimized transactions, Waruwa designed the app for customers to directly purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. All they need to do is register online, place an order, and it will arrive the next day. Through the platform, the provider is notified of the shipment in real-time.