BigHaat Pockets $2 Mn From Japanese Investor Beyond Next Ventures and Others
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Agritech Startup BigHaat has raised USD 2 million (INR 14.9 crore) in pre-series A round, led by Japanese Investor Beyond Next Ventures. Existing investor Ankur Capital, early-stage fund Rockstud Capital and a clutch of angel investors also participated in the round.
The Bengaluru-based startup will deploy the fresh capital to strengthen its data and technology offering, hire best talent in technology and marketing and strengthen its supply chain to fuel aggressive growth.
Founded in 2015 by Sateesh Nukala and Sachin Nandwana, BigHaat is an agriculture inputs e-commerce company. It leverages data and technology to provide data-led crop advisory to farmers and its platform gives them omni-channel access to advisory and products. This is achieved through digital touch-points (mobile app/web), a missed call for non-internet users and feet-on-street presence.
BigHaat claims to be the only agritech startup that digitally acquires and engages farmer-customers, as opposed to other players with feet-on-street presence.
The two co-founders, both of whom have agriculture family backgrounds, want to digitize the agriculture inputs ecosystem completely and empower farmers with access to high-quality agriculture inputs. “The traditional agri-inputs supply-chain is a broken experience, causing financial distress to the farmer. Technology can address this serious problem and transform a farmer’s pre-harvest journey into a profitable one,” said Nukala, CEO of BigHaat.
Nandwana concurs and says that over the next 2-3 years every family will have at least one smartphone, which will be a game changer in making technology accessible to farmers.
The platform offers vernacular advisory in multiple regional languages and claims to have served over 3 million farmers across the country since inception. It aims to engage with over 10 milllion farmers over the next 24 months.
Ritu Verma, co-founder and managing partner at Ankur Capital, which had invested an undisclosed amount in BigHaat in December 2016, said, "Transforming and upgrading the hyper fragmented agri-supply chains has always been an opportunity to change a multi-billion dollar industry. It empowers stakeholders in the system and has become even more critical in recent days. Digital technologies have shown that they can have large scale impact. We are excited to continue to support Sateesh and Sachin to build India's largest digital e-commerce platform in agriculture. We look forward to partnering with new investor partners and leveraging their expertise on the journey forward."
Besides offering direct-to-farmer services, BigHaat also provides business intelligence and data analytics to many agri inputs manufacturers about demand-supply, market feedback and new market opportunities.