[Funding Alert] Milk Mantra Raises $10 Mn Debt Financing From DFC, Gets Additional Technical Assistance
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Odisha-based dairy tech startup, Milk Mantra, on Friday announced it has raised $10 million from US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). DFC has also approved $371,000 in technical assistance to support the company’s agriculture extension services and ethical milk sourcing programme.
“The main focus of this would be to build out Milk Mantra’s digital financial services platform for its network of farmers. This platform will drive financial inclusion for farmers, especially women farmers,” read a company’s statement.
Commenting on the funding, Srikumar Misra, founder of Milk Mantra, said “I am excited to bring on board a financial partner like DFC. At Milk Mantra, we align with DFC’s focus on development impact. We have developed an ethical sourcing model that looks to revitalize rural economies, increase farmers yields, and provide farmers, their families and their communities with growth opportunities while we scale up a mass-premium food brand that’s nourishing the lives of consumer families.”
Ajay Rao, director of DFC’s social enterprise finance team, who led this transaction, said, “We have been very impressed by the Milk Mantra team and its efforts to build a socially responsible business that empowers smallholder farmers while strengthening food security. We are excited about our collaboration with Milk Mantra, which will help the company scale up its operations by supporting expanded processing and sourcing capacity.”
Setuka Partners LLP based out of Washington DC, led by Aman Khanna, was the exclusive advisor to this transaction.
Founded by Srikumar along with Rashima Mishra in 2009, Milk Mantra addresses the problem of trust deficit between consumers and food in the large $50 billion dairy industry in the country. In the past eight years, the dairy tech has expanded its milk sourcing network with over 60,000 farmer families. The startup has helped these families to increase their productivity by 31 per cent, and incomes by 70 per cent.
Milk Mantra has raised $25 million VC funding over four rounds from blue-chip investors such as Eight Roads (previously Fidelity Growth Partners), Neev Fund (SBI Caps and the UK DFID), and Aavishkar VC.
India’s organized milk market is slated to reach $10 billion by 2025, and private dairies are expected to play a crucial role.