This Early-Stage Startup Connected with the Right VCs & Struck Gold
Carmel Organics woos Ankur Capital to secure undisclosed Series A funding. What can other startups learn?
With problem-solving being the key focus, entrepreneurs today are devising solutions that not just use technology-driven models in the societal scheme of things, but also ensure that people using these solutions are empowered technologically. A key sector that is believed by experts to reap maximum benefits out of these new-age aspects is agriculture.
This is substantiated when we consider the fact that startups working on agricultural solutions have mushroomed exponentially. They are also attracting the eye of venture capitalists (VCs) more than ever.
In this regard, an early-stage venture called Carmel Organics very recently wooed leading VC firm Ankur Capital to raise undisclosed Series A funds. The startup, with its focus on organic farming and farmers, grabs eyeballs considering the fact that it works closely with farmers and buys at premium prices their herbal produces.
The early-stage venture capital’s focus on early-stage agriculture has led Ankur Capital to invest in two other agriculture-focussed startups AgricX and CropIn.
Carmel Organics that started in 2012 aims to help small farmers to earn more by growing herbs organically to supply premium quality herbal ingredients to the global market.
“We run our organic farming program and organise farming certifications at their farms free of cost,” states Shailendra Dhakad who is the Founder and CEO at Carmel Organics that is headquartered at Madhya Pradesh. .
The Funding Journey – Solving Teething Issues of Agriculturists
Even though the early-stage venture has raised undisclosed capital as of now, its model appears to have attracted investors to pump-in funds. Dhakad states that it was the vision that connected the most with folks at Ankur Capital.
This is a clear instance of modern-day VCs who increasingly look at funding (and mentoring) ventures that are focussed at actually offering solutions to plaguing issues and to the sectors that deserve these most believes Dhakad.
“Agriculture sector is in need of a systematic overhaul. Despite half of India's workforce deployed in this sector, the contribution to GDP is mere 16% and growth at 2%,” states, Saurabh Kumar who is Co-Founder at Maharashtra-based Agritech startup Agricx Labs, independently to Entrepreneur India.
Saurabh’s statement is also an indicator about the need for a technology-aided overhaul of the Indian agricultural scheme of things.
At this juncture, it is also worth noting that Saurabh’s Agricx Labs also recently raised $500,000 in seed funds from Ankur Capital along with another mentor. Ankur’s strong focus on agriculture mentoring also becomes clear.
As far as Carmel Organics is concerned, Ankur Capital was the only investor having pumped-in VC funds to the startup.
Another aspect that Dhakad highlighted was his end-to-end integration technique applicable to medicinal herbs that was also instrumental in getting Ankur Capital to invest.
“We resort to end to end integration of medicinal herbs. We are involved in sourcing, processing, and distribution of premium herbal ingredients,” adds Dhakad.
Mentoring Guidance – For New Entrants
Taking the viewpoint of new startups in the agritech space, Dhakad advises owners to go in for incubation as the governments across the country are helpful to entrepreneurs in all aspects right from starting out till expansion and funding.
“So much support is coming these days from government and international agencies,” exclaims Dhakad.