5 Agritech Startups in India that Could Potentially Drive Next-Gen Investment and Innovations
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With Industry 4.0 promising to introduce all things smart for India, next-gen technology is expected to drive key sectors of the economy. One of these areas, analysed by experts, is agriculture. This trend is evident when we consider the number of Agritech startups that have mushroomed over the last five years.
Most of these agritech startups are working on models driven by next-gen smart technological aspects viz Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Data Analytics, Predictive Learning, Deep Learning, and more. With investors having sensed potential in the agricultural sector, and with funds over $20 million estimated to have been invested in agritech ventures in India, it is only safe to assume that these startups would be the next-gen drivers of smart entrepreneurship.
Nonetheless, agriculture in India requires a shot in the arm taking into consideration farmer suicides reported over the last five years and inability of various state governments to craft robust policies to encourage citizens to actively take up agriculture as a profession. However, with a sprout in the number of startups offering technology-backed solutions, farming and the way agriculture is perceived should change for the better.
In synchronization with the above, Entrepreneur India spoke to a multitude of technologists developing smart agriculture solutions and investors actively investing in agritech startups to compile the list of agritech startups whose solutions are estimated to drive a technological change, along with analysing their fund-raising patterns. Check out this list below, these could also potentially catch next-gen investors’ eyes soon:
Agricx: An early stage technology-driven agritech startup founded in 2016 by Saurabh Kumar and Ritesh Dhoot, Agricx has proprietary technology harnessing AI to determine the standard of agricultural produce.
Agricx has been grabbing eyeballs for its quality assessment of potato. The technology used by the startup even certifies crops, and it claims to have certified over two million kilograms of potato. The venture has also inked deals with known cold storage units in India enabling these to certify and list only ‘genuine’ potatoes. Agricx also grade potatoes and works with food storage units, warehouses who have reportedly tested the AI-backed application.
As recently as 19 February 2018, Agricx raised $500,000 in a Seed Funding round led by Ankur Capital. Other investors included the Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE).The latest $500,000 is also the total funding raised by Agricx labs so far.
Agrostar: Agrostar’s USP is its online solution which offers complete farming needs, along with agro inputs driven by Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, directly to farmers at a fair price. Agrostar has a standalone mobile application, a web service, and a customer centre from where farmers can directly obtain unadulterated solutions to all farming needs.
Agrostar also delivers agricultural products directly to farmers’ doorsteps at no additional cost.
Founded in 2008 by Sitanshu Shah and based out of Pune in Maharashtra, the startup has raised Series B funds worth $10 million from Accel Partners. Prior to this Series B in 2017, Agrostar also received $4 million, in an initial round of funding, by IDG Ventures. These investments total upto $14 million in VC funding over 2 rounds.
CroFarm: Having raised INR 10 crores in two pre-series A rounds led by a multitude of investors including Rajan Anandan and Jitendra Gupta, CroFarm is aiming to better its vision of assisting farmers by connecting them directly with retail stores and determining the right prices for famers’ produce.
CroFarm has an application to sell agricultural produce to consumers, whilst resorting to demand prediction through smart technology viz Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. CroFarm’s digital system also employs Data Analytics to guide farmers on increasing market value by effectively selecting the right produce specifications.
The startup also claims that farmers would profit more through its tech-driven models, than at offline shops. CroFarm was founded in 2016 by Varun Khurana and Prashant Jain based out of Gurugram in Haryana.
CropIn: Bengaluru-based CropIn Technology Solutions works on a B2B model offering farm management software for smart agricultural solutions. The startup uses Machine Learning, Satellite Monitoring, Data Storage, and Weather Analysis technology mechanism to maximize yield per acre whilst identifying the risk and favourable areas for cultivation.
CropIn’s offerings include SmartFarm, mWarehouse, SmartSales, and SmartRisk tools that enable companies monitor farms technogically. Clients of CropIn include crop insurance providers, governments, seed companies, and banks.
Founded in2 2011 in Bengaluru by Krishna Kumar, CropIn has raised funding worth nearly $4 million with its latest round witnessing 2 investors pumping in undisclosed capital. The agritech startup has so far undergone 5 rounds of funding.
Kamal Kisan: This early stage startup, founded in 2013 works with farmers, in significantly reducing labour costs, through customized smart agricultural equipments that are designed & manufactured in-house. This agritech startup, with its smart agricultural equipments, claims to increase process efficiency by as much as 50% thereby potentially resulting in farmers saving both time and money.
Kamal Kisan, based in Bengaluru, is led by Devi Murthy; the startup’s funding through unknown is seen as a potential driver of change (by VCs and analysts) in the Indian agricultural sector. The startup is funded by Tata trust.