Our Story

Esoko started in 2005 as an experiment to see how the emergence of mobile technology in Africa, could improve the lives of rural communities across the continent.

The first project enabled the delivery of market prices via SMS, in support of work that FoodNet was doing with MTN in Uganda. In addition, Esoko set up a call centre to support local languages and address issues with literacy.

Over time we realized farmers needed much more than price information, and added weather alerts, crop advice, and linking buyers with sellers. Various research finds such services can improve incomes for farmers by roughly 10%.

The company then leveraged its technical platform and field force for the collection of information, mostly using tablet devices and smartphones.

Today, Esoko provides smallholders with access to inputs and finance through our virtual marketplace, while driving business for input dealers and financial service providers.

Esoko has evolved over the years but remains committed to improving income for rural communities by empowering them – and the businesses that serve them – through mobile technology. Join us!

Our Management Team

Hillary Miller-Wise

Chief Executive Officer

Hillary is passionate about the use of technology to improve the lives of the poor and has spent many years in the field in Africa doing just that. She came to Esoko from Grameen Foundation, where she led the organization’s programs in Africa using mobile to link the poor to health, financial and commodity markets. Hillary holds a Master’s in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from INSEAD, where she received the Social Entrepreneurship Scholarship.

Chetan Seth

Chief Technology Officer

Chetan leads the technology teams and ensures that Esoko continues to develop best in class software. Before joining Esoko in 2012 he worked at Fidelity Bank in Ghana, where he led an IT-enabled business transformation to deliver a multi-channel, multi-payment architecture. He also worked on financial inclusion for the under-banked and on the maximization of bank services and channels for the unique needs of Ghana. Chetan has a Diploma from Amitty School, Noida, India.

Axel Stelk

VP, Finance and Operations

Axel is a finance professional with significant experience across accounting and investment banking, gained with blue chip companies in London. He came to Esoko from Kiva Microfunds, a crowdlending platform for microloans where he helped establish their US-based lending operations in San Francisco. Axel holds a BSc Accounting & Finance from the Warwick Business School and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, as well as the CFA Institute.

Daniel Asare-Kyei

Regional Director, West Africa

Daniel is a Geo-information scientist, agronomist and a farmer with over 10 years of experience working with smallholder farmers in Ghana . Prior to joining Esoko, he worked on USAID-funded GIS/agricultural projects with ADRA, Chemonics International, TechnoServe and ACDI/VOCA. Daniel holds a double masters in Geo-information Science from the University of Twente (Netherlands) and KNUST (Ghana) and is currently a PhD fellow at the United Nations University in Germany.

Vani Holla

Regional Director, East & Southern Africa

Vani has over 11 years experience in consulting and project management for IT and outsourcing services. Prior to Esoko, she worked with HP, where she first worked as the Head of Instruction Design & Knowledge Management, leading the SAP implementation, before joining the Decision Support and Analytics wing to manage research projects. Vani has a Masters in Business Administration from Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta.

Godwin Cudjoe

Acting VP, Engineering

Godwin started with Esoko right after university, and has led in the design and implementation of various applications on the Esoko platform. He now leads the engineering team and ensures that Esoko continues to develop best-in-class software. Godwin holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana.

Lebo Mokgabudi

Director of M-Commerce

Lebo is passionate about the use of mobile technology for social impact and has gained significant experience leading mobile money strategy and implementation projects in emerging markets. Prior to joining Esoko, she was an independent consultant providing financial inclusion advisory services to banks, MNOs and NGOs. Lebo holds an MBA from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and a BCom Information Systems and Finance from the University of the Witwatersrand.