Are Agri-Tech Start-Ups in India Able To Raise Funds?
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India had added over 1,300 start-ups in 2019 alone by the end of October, according to a report by industry body NASSCOM released earlier this month. The report only solidified the general trend that has been seen in the country, with more and more people identifying a problem, and trying to build solutions themselves.
And while start-ups have come up in nearly every vertical in the last few years, there seems to be an apparent need for a lot more in agriculture. In a country where close to 60 per cent of the population is heavily dependent on agriculture for a living, it is important that even they reap the benefits of the ongoing tech revolution.
With changing consumption patterns, it is especially important for businesses to think about building solutions for social problems that have existed for a while, Sandeep Murthy, partner at venture capital firm Lightbox said in an earlier interview with Entrepreneur India.
Start-ups such as Kamatan and Fresh VnF are trying to bridge the gap between farmers and the larger economy with the use of technology. Funding, too, seems to have quietly followed, albeit not as aggressively as in the case of fintech or deeptech.
Kamatan, formed after the merger of agritech start-ups LivLush and Sabziwala last year, has raised INR 30 crore in equity and debt funding, the company said on Friday. The funding came from Chennai-based NBFC Samunnati Agro Solutions.
Here are some Indian agri-tech start-ups that have managed to bag the money managers this year.
Mumbai-based FreshVnF uses machine learning to connect farmers with hotels and restaurants in what is a farm-to-fork model.
One can order fresh harvest online and get it delivered through a mobile app.
Founded in 2018, the start-up raised $2 million in a funding round led by Equanimity Ventures earlier this year.
Back in May, the company claimed to deliver 15 tonnes of products everyday and said it had 300 outlets on board, including new-age restaurant chains.
Pune-based Ecozen raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding in June. The round was led by Caspian Impact Investments and Hivos-Triodos Fund.
Ecozen makes solar-powered micro cold-storage units and water pumping devices.
B2B agri-commerce platform SuperZop helps small retail stores to buy products directly from farmers, farmer producer organisations and mills.
In July, it raised INR 8 crore in a pre-series A round from SIDBI Venture Capital’s MS Fund, IIM Ahmedabad’s technology incubator, CIIE Initiatives and Gurumurthy Raman.
SuperZop said it shipped 6,500 orders in October and has 8,000 B2B customers using the platform to procure their supplies.