[Funding Alert] Agritech Start-Up Clover Raises $5.5 Million Series A Round

The round saw the participation of Omnivore as well as existing investors Accel and Mayfield. The Bengaluru-based start-up said it would use the new funds to grow its farm network, enter new cities, and diversify fresh produce offerings.

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Clover, an agritech start-up, raised $5.5 million in a Series A round, the company said on Thursday. The funding came from agriculture-focused venture capital firm Omnivore, and existing investors Accel and Mayfield.

Clover Co-Founder Avinash BR

Co-founded by Avinash BR, Gururaj Rao, Arvind Murali and Santhosh Narasipura, the Bengaluru-based company partners with farmers across the country and markets greenhouse-grown fresh produce through business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) channels. 

“This additional funding will help to accelerate the growth of our managed farm network, support our entry into new cities, and diversify our B2B and B2C fresh produce offerings,” Avinash said in a statement.

Erstwhile under the radar, agritech start-ups in India have seen growing interest from money managers in the last few years. With about 58 per cent of the population still directly dependent upon agriculture for their living, and several gaps that continue to exist across the supply chain, both entrepreneurs and investors have shifted focus on what is arguably an underserved sector.

Last week, Chennai-based soil-to-sale company WayCool raised a $32 million Series C round led by Lightbox while late last month, Y Combinator-backed Kisan Network raised a $3 million in fresh funding.

Business Model

Clover’s business model revolves around demand-driven cultivation, a managed network of farms and a full stack agronomy solution.

Due to the demand-led cultivation, the company is able to grow high quality fresh produce on a consistent basis, that is traceable and specific to the demand side. Its farm network, all greenhouses, are based in peri-urban and rural areas that surround urban consumption zones, which helps in ensuring freshness and reducing spoilage. Clover also provides full stack agronomy solution to the farmers to improve yields and standardize output quality.

“We believe that Clover is building India’s first fresh produce supply chain adapted to the challenge of climate change,” said Mark Kahn, managing partner at Omnivore.

Both Accel and Mayfield had invested in the company’s seed round in December 2018.

Clover operates in the highly fragmented but large agriculture market of India. By using cutting edge technology, systems, and processes, the Clover team, led by Avinash, is disrupting the agriculture value chain for fruits and vegetables,” said Vikram Godse, managing partner at Mayfield.